MLA Report - Feb. 21, 2020

Northern infrastructure cuts and the need to improve community access

Infrastructure is an essential need in any community. Buildings and well-established road networks allow the production of goods and services to consistently operate at optimal levels. This impacts economic capacity for growth and development within a community.

I stand with Northerners–we want to see growth, we want infrastructural developments and all-season roads in order to make mobility around the region more bearable, especially in the winter. However, the government has hindered Northern Manitoba’s potential for economic growth by drastically reducing funding towards infrastructure.

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Since they assumed government, the Progressive Conservatives have cut $790 million in funding towards infrastructure.

Winter roads are typically open from mid-January to mid-March. Depending on the changes in weather they might remain closed for longer. In the past, some communities have had to declare a state of emergency as a result of being unable to access food and other essential basic needs.

In 2016, the government cut the highway budget by more than 40 per cent. Since then, this budget has been underspent by millions of dollars annually. This has resulted in job cuts, effectively putting thousands of Manitobans out of employment with nowhere to go. This budget was further reduced by 35 per cent.

In addition, they cut the airport maintenance budget by more than $2 million–this has resulted in northern airports having snow clearance only during emergencies or on weekends.

We need investments in infrastructure, and highway and airport maintenance to ensure that all our communities are accessible and that Northerners can be able to move freely and have unhindered access to services they need, especially during the winter months.

What would you like to see as far as more investments in infrastructure being made? Let me know by calling my office at 204-677-2744 or emailing me at Danielle.adams@yourmanitoba.ca.

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