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Legislative Report (14 June 2006)

Legislative Report

14 June 2006

People Respond to Highways Challenge

The challenge is out. You can tell the Premier which crumbling highways you think he should travel this summer. Last week, the Official Opposition Saskatchewan Party invited the public to send in photos and testimonials of their worst highway via the Caucus website. From these submissions, the Saskatchewan Party will plan a summer driving tour for the Premier challenging him to drive on some of the province’s worst roads.

The response to date has been overwhelming. In the first week of the campaign, our highways site has received more than 1,000 hits and has garnered more than 60 invitations for the Premier. People from every corner of the province are sending photos and stories of highways that make one shudder. If there is one common concern people share in this province, it’s crumbling highways.

Among the highways with the most submissions to date are:

  1. Highway 368 near St. Brieux Highway
  2. Highway 310 north of Foam Lake
  3. ighway 32 from Leader to Swift Current

Bob Johnson from Foam Lake says he is concerned about the safety of those who travel Highway 310 on a daily basis, as well as the tourists that come to the area that might not come back. He writes:

"I also personally believe that the lack of funding or even a reply from the Minister of Highways explaining the government’s plan to fix the road shows the lack of regard the NDP have for those of us who choose to live in rural Saskatchewan.”

Melissa Gervais from Alameda writes:

“I invite our fine Premier to travel to Southeast Saskatchewan. Highway 18, 13, 9, 361, & 318 are all worth traveling. I encourage Calvert to drive his personal vehicle on all of these roads. These roads are beyond repair and are a disgrace for tourism dollars coming in from neighbouring Manitoba and the US. We are being ignored in the SE and we are fuelling the Saskatchewan economy with our oil and gas revenues.”

The Minister of Highways talked recently about Saskatchewan’s poor highways. Instead of offering solutions to fix the problem, he made excuses. He said, “We need to understand that what we have for a road system isn't sustainable.” For the current Highways Minister to simply make excuses demonstrates the lack of long-term planning and vision in the NDP government. Part of the reason the roads are as bad as they are today is because of 15 years of neglect from the NDP government – this isn’t a problem that has surfaced overnight or even in the last year.

What Saskatchewan needs is a government with a different vision where our roads are seen as assets and not liabilities. The Official Opposition Saskatchewan Party believes people of the province deserve safe roads and that roads are an important part of the provincial economy. We have a plan that includes dedicating, at a minimum, all provincial fuel taxes to transportation infrastructure, something that doesn’t happen under the NDP government. We believe the province must invest back into the roads of communities that contribute millions of dollars to the economy through industry and tourism. Unfortunately the NDP doesn’t see it that way.

If you have a question about this report or any other matter, just Contact Glen.

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