Transport ministers meet in Ottawa to push for more federal highway funding

OTTAWA (May 14) — Canada’s provincial transportation ministers will meet with federal Transport Minister David Collenette in Ottawa today to lobby for more national funding for highways.

Collenette “has been very positive about the need for a National Highways Program,” said Nova Scotia Transportation and Public Works Minister Clifford Huskilson. “My aim is to help create a groundswell of provincial support that will help the federal minister press his case for highway investment.”

Collenette has spoken publically about the need for more federal support for new and improved highway infrastructure, and has indicated that next year’s budget will allocate more money for roads.

The ministers want to make sure he follows through.

Last December, the provincial transport ministers released a report stating that $17.4 billion is needed to revitalize the designated national highway network, comprised of 25,000 kilometres of strategically important roadways.

The federal government takes more than $4.5 billion a year in fuel taxes but puts back only $300 million into highway projects. The provinces, which are largely responsible for highway upkeep, spend about $1.7 billion a year on maintaining the national highway system.

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