New government, new start for a new approach
MHCA releases ‘Elements of a Manitoba Infrastructure Investment Plan’
Manitobans re-elected the Progressive Conservative Party to government Tuesday, and with it the party’s pledge to produce a strategic approach to renewed infrastructure investment in the province.
“We congratulate Premier Pallister and his team on their successful campaign and look forward to working, again, with the government to ensure our core infrastructure has the plan and the priority it deserves,” MHCA President Chris Lorenc said.
The MHCA, in partnership with Merit Contractors Association of Manitoba, advertised in the week prior to election day on the need to #FixOurRoads, urging voters to make infrastructure an election issue.
All three main parties responded to an MHCA questionnaire about their positions on infrastructure investment, particularly as a driver of economic growth. All three parties acknowledged the significant return to the GDP from strategic, core infrastructure investment.
“There is good reason why all political leaders cite core infrastructure investment, especially in our trade transportation routes, as key to economic growth,” Lorenc noted. “It is the foundation upon which we do our daily business, whether that’s getting products to market, people to jobs or students to school – whatever the destination. And it ensures Manitoba can compete for global trade.”
Lorenc urged the province to undertake a comprehensive review on why and where we allot infrastructure investment dollars now, to set out an approach built on sustainable, multi-year programs for highways and other core infrastructure assets.
“We need to strategically reinvest and renew Manitoba’s system of highways and bridges,” he explained. “The MHCA recommends a provincial-industry working group be mandated to review government-wide infrastructure investment programs to reframe the approaches to ensure that trade transportation assets support productivity and competitiveness.”
The comprehensive, strategic approach would address the investment deficit – the difference between what is now budgeted for highways, bridges, sewer and water and water control structures, and what is needed to bring the assets to good condition – and the upgraded infrastructure Manitoba, and its municipalities, need to serve growing populations and to compete with other jurisdictions for trade in Canada and internationally.
Click here to read the MHCA’s ‘Elements’ documents, describing the steps to drawing up new approaches provincially and municipally.