In a news release Layton said the city and province have identified the Plessis underpass as a priority project but that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have not offered support for it. An NDP government would commit one-third of the costs from the NDP’s promised urban infrastructure programs.
Vic Toews, Manitoba’s regional cabinet minister in the federal government, said if the city and province support it, he’d follow suit.
I know better than to expect serious issues to be discussed during an election campaign, but it is still nice to dream of a political party that proposed to remove Ottawa from being involved in the micromanaging of infrastructure investments in cities and towns.
If this underpass is really required as an urgent priority, the city should be provided the means through taxation power to raise the funds required to build local roads and bridges. Better yet, if it is urgently needed, why not build it as a built-operate-transfer partnership with the public sector and have its cost be paid by tolls? Why are taxpayers in other provinces spending money on a local transportation asset in Winnipeg?