Federal Politicians Warming Up To Far North Roads

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 12:42



Saskatchewan Highways Minister Wayne Elhard says he is optimistic Ottawa will help build an all-weather road network in the province’s far north.


Elhard says he talked about the project with his federal counterpart at a meeting in Vancouver yesterday.


Although he didn’t receive a specific commitment, Elhard says Transportation Minister John Baird was very receptive to the idea of the road network.


The province recently released its five-year rolling plan for northern road projects.


Upgrades to the Wollaston Lake road were included in the plan, but there was no mention of building all-weather roads to Fond du Lac or Black Lake.


However, Elhard says everything is still on the table.


Elhard adds the province is committed to tackling the project by itself if Ottawa stays on the sidelines.


The chairperson of the Athabasca Transportation Planning Committee says he welcomes the interest being shown by the feds.


Glen Strong says he talked yesterday to northern Saskatchewan MP Rob Clarke.


He says Clarke told him the road network was at the top of his agenda.


Strong notes the province is also looking for “shovel-ready projects” to direct infrastructure money toward.


He says the road network definitely falls into that category.


Strong also points out the environmental study for the first leg of the road has been completed.