BY BOB ZIMMER
Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP
As we navigate our way through the pandemic, I believe Canada’s economic recovery should be about strengthening essential industries like energy, agriculture, forestry and mining. These critical industries are the backbone of Canada and strength in these areas provide hope and stability in all sectors of our economy.
To help in this recovery, I believe we should be focused on improving and maintaining our roads and bridges in order to support these industries in getting their products to market and to ensure the safety of those who live and work in rural areas.
It is why I continue to push for the replacement of the Peace River Bridge. Over the summer I wrote to Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna and BC Premier John Horgan urging them both to consider this vital project when there were reports that the federal government was looking for “shovel ready” projects to fund.
I’ve also spoken with members of the North Peace Rural Roads Committee about the projects they believe will benefit our region the most and have forwarded a list of priority roads that have been identified by the committee, with input from an advisory task force made up of representatives from a variety of industries that are active in the area, to both Minister McKenna and the BC Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.
It is also why I was so deeply disappointed that the Liberal government’s recently announced $10-billion Canada Infrastructure Bank’s Growth Plan doesn’t include a plan for roads, bridges and railways.
Unfortunately, it is not surprising given Justin Trudeau’s infrastructure record. In five years, the Liberals have failed to get money out the door and shovels in the ground. The Auditor General is investigating their lack of transparency and accountability and provinces and municipalities are still waiting for federal funding for important projects.
The Liberal’s Infrastructure Bank has been nothing but a waste of taxpayer dollars that has been in the news more for executive bonuses and resignations than for job creating projects.
As your voice in Ottawa, I will continue to work hard to see these much needed projects get across the finish line. These are projects that will help build our region back stronger, that will support our workers and their families, our communities, and the industries that are vital to northeastern B.C.