Legislative Report (7 June 2006)
7 June 2006
Sask Party Caucus Launches Highway Campaign
The official start of summer is just a couple of weeks away, but the summer driving season has already begun in Saskatchewan. Residents, visitors and truckers in various regions of the province are hitting the road only to find out that the condition of many of highways are in a state of complete disrepair.
The NDP government is blaming it on the warm winter we had last year, but this is a problem that didn’t happen over one season. Sources inside the Department of Highways and Transportation tell us there is no significant long-term plan for Saskatchewan’s highways and that’s part of the problem.
When members of the current NDP government were in opposition during the 1980’s, they had a few things to say about the miserable state of Saskatchewan highways. Consider the following:
Lorne Calvert: “If they want the way to encourage tourists in our province, then restore the roads so that driving in Saskatchewan is a pleasure again and not a challenge.” (June 23, 1987, Hansard)
Eldon Lautermilch: “…[R]ed flags and pot-holes are not what the people of this province are looking for. They’re looking for the kind of a highway system that used to be in this province prior to this government’s administration, where you didn’t have to rattle your car apart to get from point A to point B.” (April 4, 1988, Hansard)
Some things have changed since then. Lorne Calvert is now premier of the province and Eldon Lautermilch is the NDP Highways and Transportation Minister.
Some things have not changed. A large number of Saskatchewan highways that provide vital links to many of our communities are in a terrible state of disrepair. Calvert and Lautermilch’s words ring as true today as they did in the late 1980s, except now it is them in power presiding over terrible highway conditions.
This week, the Official Opposition Saskatchewan Party launched a campaign that encourages drivers to write in and challenge Premier Lorne Calvert to drive on the worst highways in their community. The Saskatchewan Party will then plan a summer driving tour route for the Premier based on submissions.
We believe the only way the Premier can have a good understanding of how treacherous some of Saskatchewan’s highways have become, is by driving on them himself. Only then can he truly understand the negative impact crumbling roads have on local economies, tourism and the safety of all motorists.
There are a number of regions of the province that contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to the provincial economy through industry and tourism where the highways are crumbling. People who live in areas like this in the province wonder how the NDP government can take so much money out of their communities, and then fail to invest in their roads. In some instances, these roads provide a community’s only link to local health care services and poor road conditions make the highway almost impassable for ambulances. Finally, residents who travel these roads on a daily basis are fearful for their safety and the safety of their family and friends.
Drivers can log onto the Saskatchewan Party Caucus website and click on the picture of the highway for more information and to submit their invitations, a description of the road and pictures. Drivers can also send the information by mail to:
Saskatchewan Party Caucus
Room 265, Legislative Building
Regina, SK. S4S 0B3
If you have a question about this report or any other matter, just Contact Glen.
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