Core infrastructure investment a top concern for provincial parties

Core infrastructure investment a top concern for provincial parties

Conservatives commit to release the roads, bridges investment-deficit report

All three main political parties vying for government in the election campaign have ranked core infrastructure investment as a top priority, should they form government September 10, according to their responses to an MHCA questionnaire.

The MHCA’s election questionnaire, sent to the three main political parties in August, posed 12 questions. The full responses have been posted on the association website.

“In election campaigns, parties take a hard look at where provincial investment ought to be focused, and they attest to recognizing the value of infrastructure investment because it has been verified by economic analyses to boost the GDP,” MHCA President Chris Lorenc said.

The Tories committed to releasing annually Manitoba Infrastructure’s report on the provincial investment deficit for roads and bridges. Successive governments have refused to release that report. The party’s answer noted that as part of its 10-year strategic capital plan, it commits to “appropriate reporting related to infrastructure spending and stable, predictable funding to address Manitoba’s infrastructure needs.”

The MHCA has been told the combined investment deficit – the difference between what is currently budgeted and what needs to be invested to bring assets to good condition – for roads and bridges is approximately $9 billion.

The Conservatives are polling ahead of decided voter support for other parties, at present.

  • As part of a 10-year capital plan, the Conservatives would release budget projections. The MHCA asked if it would release annual and five-year budgets for the highways capital program, to which the party answered “yes”
  • That party also committed to release annually the asset-condition and needs reports for highways and bridges

The NDP and Liberals also ranked core infrastructure as a high priority, with the Liberals dubbing it – like health care and education – “the foundation of a modern economy.” All parties said they consider core infrastructure investment a key economic driver.

 “These replies are critical for our industry because we need to know not just the priority a party places on core infrastructure but program and budget plans into the future,” noted Lorenc.

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