Province’s Far North Road Offer Angers Local Rep

Monday, September 29, 2003 at 14:43




The provincial government is being criticized for insisting that the federal government pay 70 per cent of the cost of a proposed all-weather road network in the Far North.


The estimated cost of the project to link communities like Stony Rapids, Black Lake, Wollaston Lake and Fond du Lac to the south is 43 million dollars.


Athabasca economic development official Glen Strong says it’s unrealistic for the province to expect Ottawa to come through with 70 per cent of the funding. He notes 70/30 funding arrangements are very rare, but points out there are several examples of the province and federal government cost-sharing projects 50/50.


Strong also says the provincial government is ultimately responsible for all roads to Saskatchewan reserves, and points out the Athabasca reserves are the only ones in the province without permanent road access.


The federal government has committed one-third of the construction costs. Strong says he’s still waiting for a significant offer from the province.


A working group that has been studying funding options for the proposed roads over the last year is set to submit its final report on October 21st.