Province Unveils Northern Roads Strategy

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 at 14:48



The provincial government says it will invest $65.5 million over the next five years in northern road infrastructure.


It’s all part of the province’s Northern Economic Infrastructure Strategy announced this morning.


It includes the construction of all-weather roads in the Athabasca Basin — a project that Athabasca leader Don Deranger hopes will eventually get more residents of the region thinking about becoming businesspeople.


Premier Lorne Calvert says the project in the Far North will be part of a principle northern road system the government will develop that will serve as the core network for the North. Community access to this principle northern road system will also be enhanced.


The province also pledges to generate a skilled northern labour force to build the new infrastructure, and to use the provincial funding to leverage additional funds out of Ottawa and industry partners.


Calvert calls today’s announcement the most significant investment in transportation infrastructure for northern Saskatchewan in the province’s history.


Northern Affairs Minister Buckley Belanger says the province hopes the federal government follows suit with funding of its own, but that’s not going to stop these projects from getting started.


More details of the province’s northern roads strategy will be released when the premier visits the North on December 19th.


Belanger says that’s when northern regions other than the Far North will find out how the new strategy will benefit them.