MLA Report: Keep the Trans-Canada at the top of the list

Twinning the Trans-Canada Highway from Kamloops to Alberta needs to remain a priority, writes Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald

As we look towards another summer tourist season, we are reminded that Revelstoke and Golden are still waiting for the major upgrades to the Trans-Canada Highway that are desperately needed.

We do know that the BC Liberals understand the importance of this issue to people in this area; prior to the last two elections, the government has put up signs along the highway promising to four lane and divide the Trans-Canada from Kamloops to the Alberta border. And I attended the Premier’s 2012 Union of BC Municipalities speech where she pledged to get it done in 10 years.

But actually pledging the money to finish the job is where the BC Liberals are falling down. The money currently budgeted for upgrades are laid out for the next three years, and the projected sums will make very little progress towards the completion of the project. This continues to be disappointing to all of us that live along the Trans-Canada.

We must persist in pushing for meaningful improvement, and we must insist that these improvements are made as soon as possible. There is a provincial election coming in 2017, and that often means that government will make the decision to spend on infrastructure. Take a moment to send a message to the Premier at premier@gov.bc.ca. Tell her to fulfill her promise to complete the Trans-Canada Highway project.

The provincial transportation minister was in Ottawa recently to push for federal investment for the Trans-Canada. He told me that he was encouraged by the meeting.

The federal Liberals are going to spend significantly on infrastructure, and a large federal investment would improve the safety and reliability of our national highway.

Please keep this section of the Trans-Canada Highway at the top of the federal minister’s mind. Please write to Federal Minister of Transportation Marc Garneau at marc.garneau@parl.gc.ca.

I will continue to raise this important issue at every opportunity. I will continue to work with mayor and council in both Revelstoke and Golden, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, and MP Wayne Stetski to push for building a truly safe national highway of which our country can be very proud.

Norm Macdonald is the MLA for Columbia River–Revelstoke. He can be reached at 1-866-870-4188 or  norm.macdonald.mla@leg.bc.ca.