Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)

Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)

November 14, 2005 16:27 ET

CAA: Roads and Highways Ignored by Federal Government: Fiscal and Economic Statement Offers Little to Stop Deterioration of National Highway System

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 14, 2005) - The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) today expressed dissatisfaction with the Fiscal and Economic Statement released by Finance Minister Ralph Goodale. Unfortunately, the statement failed to address the $22 billion roadway infrastructure deficit that currently exists.

"This government needs to understand that a majority of Canadians consider roads and highways a major federal issue that needs to be addressed now," said David Flewelling, President of CAA. "Instead, the federal government continues to ignore the continuing decline of our National Highway System, pushing the backbone of our transportation system to the breaking point."

On September 29, volunteer CAA representatives from across Canada travelled to Ottawa, to call on the federal government to adopt a National Highway System policy and long-term funding to restore and maintain our roads and highways at safe and efficient levels.

"Even with a great deal of support during our meetings with Members of Parliament, we are still disappointed with the absence of any real commitments to our roads and highways in this statement," continued Mr. Flewelling. "Without immediate action, the condition of our roads will continue to deteriorate to such a point that a massive reconstruction effort will be necessary. This is posing a serious threat to both our health and safety and our quality of life."

The benefits of an improved highway system have been well documented. With 80 per cent of all trade moving by road, our prosperity as a nation would also benefit from upgraded roads to reduce congestion and shipping delays. The Greater Toronto Area alone already suffers productivity losses estimated at $2 billion each year due to overcapacity.

For more information on the state of Canada's roads and highways, visit www.canadasroads.ca.

About the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)

CAA is a federation of 9 automobile clubs serving 4.7 million members through 130 offices across Canada. CAA provides a wide range of member services and works to improve travelling and motoring conditions at home and around the world.

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