Transportation is one of the critical challenges facing Northern Manitoba. We need to do nothing less than aim to extend road or rail access to every Northern Manitoba community and to upgrade our airport.
It is hard to believe that in the year 2008 more than 35 communities do not have all weather road access. Many rely on air service, winter roads, or train service. Other communities rely on roads that are often challenging to say the least. No wonder transportation is a major priority for Northerners!
What is clear is the fact the NDP provincial government has made a real difference in terms of transportation. The NDP has:
- Increased highway capital in the North to 25% from as little as 4%.
- Extended winter roads to Brochet, Lac Brochet, Tadoule Lake, and Granville Lake.
- Improved airport terminals, navigation, and extended runways.
- Supported rail service and the Port of Churchill.
If the Federal government paid half as much attention to transportation as our NDP provincial government we would be in great shape! We need:
- A Federal commitment to work with the provincial NDP to extend all weather road access.
- More of the Federal gas tax transferred to the province and local governments.
- Federal funding to upgrade Northern airports.
- A long term commitment to rail service and the Port of Churchill.
In the year 2008, there is simply no excuse for the kind of transportation needs facing Northerners!