News Release Archive

Transportation and Public Works Minister Don Downe is calling on
the federal government to put a new national highway improvement
program at the top of its agenda.

In a letter to federal Transport Minister David Anderson and his
provincial counterparts, Mr. Downe said the national highway
system is in grim shape and must be addressed.

"Concerns about safety are paramount in this issue, not to
mention the economic ramifications of decaying infrastructure
that does not support the efficient flow of people and goods from
coast to coast," said Mr. Downe.

In his letter, he wrote: "Transportation infrastructure is a key
driver in the national economy and a strong federal commitment to
a national highway program must be seen as an investment in
Canada and all our provinces."

A National Highway Policy Study was completed in 1992, but since
then there has been no commitment of funding from the federal
government for a national highway program. Mr. Downe said
national governments of all other industrial countries contribute
significantly to the funding of highway infrastructure, and he
called on the federal government to be an active partner to
improve Canada's highways now.

"I have great confidence in my province and my country to perform
on the international stage," said Mr. Downe. "But we need
infrastructure that can support our growth in business. We must
take action now."

In his letter, Mr. Downe asked his provincial counterparts for
their support in initiating a national highway program.
Transportation ministers are scheduled to meet in Toronto on June


Contact: Chris Welner
         Transportation and Public Works

trp                  June 6, 1997 - 10:31 a.m.