October 19, 2005 10:45 ET

Major Business Associations and MPs Call on the Federal Government to 'Fix Our Highways'

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 19, 2005) - Motorists, transportation companies, and businesses that use Canadian highways are getting hosed.

This year, Ottawa will siphon off more $6 billion in fuel taxes while investing less than $445 million on the National Highway System (NHS).

In response, a coalition of major business associations, joined by MPs from all four federal parties, today launched a national campaign telling the federal government to 'fix our highways'. The coalition is calling on the federal government to ensure stable, long-term investment in the National Highway System, starting with the 2006 Federal Budget.

In conjunction with the official launch, the coalition released the results of a survey of all Members of Parliament regarding their support for a "long-term, sustainable National Highway Program for Canada". The results were definitive - of 110 MPs who responded, 107, or 97%, supported long-term federal investment in the National Highway System. Respondents came from all parties and all provinces.

"The Prime Minister has said he will listen to the views of MPs. On this issue, the message is clear," said Claude-Paul Boivin, President of the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada. "MPs from all parties, provinces, and even some Cabinet Ministers have stated publicly that the federal government should invest in a long-term National Highway Program."

As part of the campaign, the coalition today also unveiled a new interactive website - - allowing Canadians to go online and register their dissatisfaction with the state of the highway system. They can add their names to an e-petition that will be sent to the Prime Minister, they can participate in a survey, and they can post their comments on a bulletin board.

"This campaign allows the taxpayers to express their views on whether enough of their fuel and other taxes are been used to provide a safe and adequate national highway structure," said Sheilagh Beaudin, Executive Director of the Canadian Bus Association.

The National Highway System carries almost 30 per cent of all traffic in Canada. About 62 per cent of all trade with the United States occurs over highways. Each year, almost 60 million Canadians and Americans use highways to visit each other's countries.

The National Highway System - developed 15 years ago in consultation with the provinces - stretches 38,000 kilometres from coast to coast to coast. The system includes Canada's most important highway links and border-crossing points as well as various remote, feeder, and border routes.

The fixourhighways coalition is composed of five partners: the Canadian Trucking Alliance, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, the Canadian Bus Association, the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada, and the Canadian Construction Association.

Contact Information

  • Jeff Morrison
    (613) 236-9455, ext. 432 (office)
    (613) 294-3033 (cell)
    Mike Pettapiece
    (416) 777-0368