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Western Premiers ask for increased infrastructure funding


November 7, 2014
By Rock to Road

November 7, 2014, Regina, Sask. – New West Partnership (NWP)
Premiers Brad Wall (Saskatchewan), Christy Clark (British Columbia) and Jim
Prentice (Alberta) met with industry leaders to explore ways to improve the
long-term efficiency, reliability, and competitiveness of western Canada’s
transportation system.

November 7, 2014, Regina, Sask. – New West Partnership (NWP)
Premiers Brad Wall (Saskatchewan), Christy Clark (British Columbia) and Jim
Prentice (Alberta) met with industry leaders to explore ways to improve the
long-term efficiency, reliability, and competitiveness of western Canada’s
transportation system.

 

Premiers stressed the need for a renewed partnership with
the Government of Canada. Premiers called for a federal contribution of $1- to
1.5 billion to support and enhance essential port and transportation
infrastructure. 

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A restructured Pacific Gateway Alliance (PGA) with
Ministerial representation will begin work immediately on a cost-sharing
partnership with the federal government and the private sector. This includes
high-volume marine ports, integrated high-quality highway, rail and pipeline
systems to maximize Canada’s export capacity. Expanding and diversifying our
trade relationship and improving our trade infrastructure will create jobs and
strengthen Canada’s overall competitiveness. 

 

A joint submission by the NWP will identify key projects
that will increase international trade in all provinces, address bottlenecks,
improve safety, and reduce impacts on local communities across the West.

 

Enhancements will include:

  • Greater port access and capacity, including
    necessary road and rail improvements in the north and south of British
    Columbia. Projects would include the removal of level crossings that impede
    traffic and improvements to Highway 1 and 16.
  • Twinning major highways and building perimeter
    roads in Saskatchewan to increase the flow of goods to key markets.
  • Widening major highways in Alberta, bridge
    improvements and twinning of major arteries to support east-west trade.

 

“Our competitors will not wait – Canada must move quickly if
we want to capture the full benefit of the opportunities in front of us,” said Christy
Clark, Premier of British Columbia. “Canada must create a world class supply
chain, coordinated across all modes of transportation. With exports and inbound
container traffic expected to double in the next 10 years, ensuring Canada has
the best infrastructure system in the world is bigger than any one of us and
continuing the dialogue that began today will be essential.”

 

Premiers noted that the Canada Transportation Act (CTA)
review presents a good opportunity to review Canada’s regulations and policies
to ensure they support international trade and competitiveness. Premiers agreed
that using the CTA review to expand monitoring systems, information-sharing,
and cooperation amongst stakeholders would improve the efficiency with which
goods and services move across the transportation network. Premiers and
industry leaders agree that information sharing and coordination is essential
to ensuring the entire network can accommodate current and projected volumes of
products. 

 

Created in 2010, the NWP brought Saskatchewan, Alberta and
British Columbia into an unprecedented and historic partnership that
established Canada’s largest open, efficient and stable market. With a combined
population of more than nine million and a combined GDP of nearly $550 billion,
the NWP is an economic powerhouse that continues to grow, strengthening the
economy, unleashing the creativity of innovators and expanding its presence
around the world.