Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities / Ministre des Transports, de l'infrastructure et des Collectivités
April 23, 2007 11:02:31 AM
Mr. Norman Andrews
Dear Mr. Andrews:
Thank you for your correspondence of March 1, 2007, to the Honourable Lawrence
Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, regarding a
proposed chipseal project on the Trans-Labrador Highway. The Minister has asked
me to reply on his behalf.
As you know, highways in Canada, including the Trans-Canada Highway and the
National Highway System (NHS), fall within provincial/territorial jurisdiction.
The only exceptions are highways through national parks and a section of the
Alaska Highway, which are managed by Parks Canada and Public Works and
Government Services Canada, respectively. Provincial/territorial governments
are therefore responsible for the planning, design, construction, operation,
maintenance and financing of highways within their jurisdiction.
Nevertheless, the Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that the highway
system is able to handle the ever-increasing volume of traffic. Investments in
transportation infrastructure are critical to maintaining Canada's economic
productivity and improving the quality of life of Canadians. It is for these
reasons that the federal government has contributed to provincial/territorial
highway construction through a series of cost-shared agreements over the past 85
Provincial/territorial governments must prioritize their projects and submit
them to the federal government for funding consideration under existing
programs. Between 2001 and 2013, such programs will have contributed over $5.2
billion in infrastructure funding. However, I should note that, under existing
programs, the federal contribution to highways is limited to capital or
safety-related projects on the existing core NHS or on short stretches of roads
linking sections of the core NHS.
You may be interested to learn that, in Budget 2007, the federal government has
committed more than $16 billion in new infrastructure funding over seven years,
bringing federal support under a new long-term infrastructure plan to a total of
$33 billion. This historic investment will be used to support Canada's economic
competitiveness and the quality of life of Canadians, through projects such as
roads, public transit, bridges, sewer and water systems, and green energy.
Furthermore, Budget 2007 provides each province and territory with an additional $25 million per year to support investments in national priorities throughout the country, including trade-related infrastructure such as gateways, roads, highways and other transportation projects. This represents an expenditure of
$2.275 billion over seven years. All provinces and territories will participate
in building this modern transportation network in Canada.
As you may be aware, the Prime Minister has indicated his intent to support the
surfacing of the TLH between Labrador City and Happy Valley-Goose Bay. However,
while Budget 2007 funds have been announced, the specific terms and conditions,
including investment priorities, have yet to be determined. Until the new
funding programs are established, we are not in a position to enter into any
bilateral funding agreement. We expect to obtain policy and program authority
for the announced funding in the coming months.
Please be assured that federal government will continue to work with other
levels of government and road safety partner organizations to ensure a safer and
more efficient transportation system for all Canadians. Again, thank you for
Special Assistant - Atlantic