September 25, 2006
(Transportation and Works)
Ministers attend meetings
of national transportation ministers
John Hickey, Minister of Transportation
and Works and Dianne Whelan, Minister of Government Services, met with
federal, provincial and territorial transportation ministers at the
National Council of Ministers meetings for transportation ministers late
last week in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
This meeting was held in conjunction with the annual Transportation
Association of Canada (TAC) conference.
Among the issues that were discussed by transportation ministers and
their officials is the on-going consultation between the
provinces/territories and the federal government regarding the framework
for future cost-shared programs, such as the extension of the Canadian
Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF) and the newly-established Highways
and Boarders Infrastructure Fund (HBIF).
Minister Hickey says he is �cautiously optimistic� the needs of this
province will be met after bringing his concerns forward to Lawrence
Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.
�In shaping future highway programs, I asked Minister Cannon to consider
remote resource areas,� said Minister Hickey. �While we all recognize
that urban and densely populated areas have issues, we must keep in mind
that the resources of the north fuel the economies of the south.�
Minister Hickey re-iterated that $100 million for resurfacing Phase I of
the Trans Labrador Highway and ongoing maintenance of the Trans Canada
Highway remain top priorities for the province.
Minister Hickey also encouraged Minister Cannon to take a close look at
a report on small airport viability that promotes the reduction of
rental fees for small airports.
One of the mandates of the Department of Government Services is highway
safety and the department was involved in the meetings from this
perspective. Minister Whalen stressed that a "one-size fits all approach
doesn't always work" in regards to implementing national standards.
"I emphasized to my counterparts that jurisdictions across Canada face
different challenges and have different needs and it's important to keep
the Newfoundland and Labrador context in mind when making safety and
regulation changes," said Minister Whalen.
- David Salter, Transportation and
Works, (709) 729-3015, 691-3577
- Vanessa Colman-Sadd, Government
Services, (709) 729-4860, 682-6593
2006 09 25