Manitoba Bold Outlines Recommendations for Transportation and Infrastructure in Manitoba

Sep 26, 2011 | Chamber News

The Manitoba BOLD campaign is calling on the provincial party leaders to leverage opportunities around CentrePort Canada to grow the transportation sector and to outline a long-term strategy that provides municipalities with opportunities to increase revenues to address the infrastructure deficit. 

Dave Angus

“Manitoba is well positioned with a strong, stable transportation sector. Further investments in CentrePort Canada can only create greater opportunities,” said Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dave Angus. “At the same time however we must ensure that the infrastructure needs to support this sector are also addressed – and we recommend taking some BOLD steps to deal with the current challenges facing Manitoba.” 

In an effort to achieve this The Manitoba BOLD platform recommends:

  • That the Province of Manitoba develop a multi-year transportation and strategic infrastructure plan and aggressively invest in the partnerships and infrastructure required to ensure that CentrePort is connected seamlessly to all major trade corridors.
  • That the Province of Manitoba place a greater focus and investment on economic opportunities in Northern Manitoba including developing a strategy and mobilizing investment in the Port of Churchill as a strategic transportation hub for Northern re-supply, arctic sovereignty, and as an Arctic Gateway to international markets.
  • The Province of Manitoba develop a long-term strategy to address Manitoba’s municipal infrastructure needs
  • That the Province of Manitoba provides municipalities with the ability to implement a City Sales Tax providing them with the opportunity to raise revenues to fund pre-determined infrastructure priorities. The public would have the ability to vote on whether or not they approve of the new tax through a referendum.
  • That the Province of Manitoba increases the Manitoba Gas tax (Motive Fuel tax) by 2.5 cents per litre with all revenues raised dedicated to strategic highway/roadway and bridges infrastructure that provide a significant environmental benefit (eg. above grade overpasses, rapid transit). 

“During this provincial election The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce believes it’s time to be BOLD and focus on growing our economy, creating jobs and leveraging our strengths through a strategic, focused and results driven approach,” concluded Angus. 

For more information on the Manitoba BOLD platform please visit www.manitobabold.com

POLICY BACKGROUNDER 

Think BOLD: That Manitoba fully leverages CentrePort Canada to become a World Leader in Transportation. 

  • That the Province of Manitoba develop a multi-year transportation and strategic infrastructure plan and aggressively invest in the partnerships and infrastructure required to ensure that CentrePort is connected seamlessly to all major trade corridors including:

– The redesign and expansion of the Emerson / Pembina Border Crossing in partnership with the Canadian and US federal governments and the State of North Dakota.

– Continued improvements to improve PTH 75 including a near term solution to flood proofing this critical infrastructure.

– Construct by-passes around Headingly and St Norbert to allow commercial traffic to move rapidly in and out of our trade corridors.

– A plan to minimize lights and rail crossing on the Perimeter Highway and turn it into the expressway it was intended to be. 

  • That the Province of Manitoba highlights CentrePort in all trade and investment strategies and provides adequate marketing funds to attract anchor tenants and clustering. This will require competitive incentive packages to attract distribution and value added manufacturing companies as well as streamlined, rapid land development approval processes. 

Think BOLD: That the Province of Manitoba places a greater focus and investment on economic opportunities in Northern Manitoba. 

  • The Province of Manitoba establishes a northern commission to assess Manitoba’s transportation infrastructure and its limitations on northern development. The commission should document and identify the current facilities, assess additional requirements and propose options for repayment of capital costs.
  • The Province of Manitoba develop a strategy and mobilize investment in the Port of Churchill as a strategic transportation hub for Northern re-supply, arctic sovereignty, and as an Arctic Gateway to international markets.
  • The Province of Manitoba establish an economic partnership with Nunavut that builds on current agreements between the Province and the Territory in order to seek mutual opportunities to servicing remote northern communities via an effective supply chain.
  • The Province of Manitoba looks at innovative transportation opportunities such as Airships to service Northern Manitoba. 

Think BOLD: The Province of Manitoba develop a long-term strategy to address Manitoba’s municipal infrastructure needs. 

  • The Province of Manitoba identify the criteria for municipal access to new revenue streams including legislation dedicating and restricting all new revenues to municipal infrastructure.
  • That the Province of Manitoba provides municipalities with the ability to implement a City Sales Tax providing them with the opportunity to raise revenues to fund pre-determined infrastructure priorities. The public would have the ability to vote on this through a referendum.
  • That the Province of Manitoba increases the Manitoba Gas tax (Motive Fuel tax) by 2.5 cents per litre with all revenues raised dedicated to strategic highway/roadway and bridges infrastructure that provide a significant environmental benefit (eg. above grade overpasses, rapid transit)
  • That the Province of Manitoba outline the new municipal/provincial intergovernmental infrastructure funding relationship taking into account competitive constraints, economic impacts, transition periods and financial capacity.
  • That the Province of Manitoba develop a joint municipal/provincial initiative to approach the federal government to participate in a sustained, long term, transparent shared responsibility.
  • That the Province of Manitoba establish a protocol that requires annual public reporting and five-year public reviews to measure progress against a 20-25 year infrastructure plan. 

For more information on the Manitoba BOLD campaign please visit http://www.manitobabold.com/

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