Monday, April 15, 2024

Major infrastructure projects | O’Toole wants to “put shovels into the ground” quickly

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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Conservative leader Erin O’Toole continues to focus on the economy and infrastructure. On Wednesday, he pledged to “put shovels in the ground” to quickly start several projects, including Quebec City’s Link Three, the GTA Transit Plan, the Vancouver Skytrain Extension and the Calgary Green Line.

Henry Owlette Vezina

Henry Owlette Vezina

“We will invest billions in these key projects, which will create jobs, reduce travel times and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Mr. O’Toole said at the end of the day. AM, from his studio in Ottawa for this campaign.

He accuses his liberal rival, the outgoing prime minister, Justin Trudeau, of “taking months, sometimes waiting until the start of the election campaign, to really engage in important national projects”.

In early July, just over a month before the campaign began, the Trudeau government announced $1.3 billion in funding to expand Metro Vancouver, “SkyTrain” to the suburbs of Surrey and Vancouver Langley. In Calgary, where he had not set foot for two years, the liberal leader then renewed his commitment to investing more than $1.5 billion for a new light rail line, the “Green Line.” So far, Mr Trudeau hasn’t been fond of the third link idea, saying he is instead interested in “social acceptance” of the project.

Erin O’Toole, did not specify his commitments on Wednesday. However, he reiterated his desire for more public transportation, but also “more rail and better road.” In a technical document, the party also indicated that it would make “historic investments” in all of the above projects, as well as in the high-frequency train (TGF) system proposed by VIA Rail.

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In northern Canada, governors also want to materialize the Grays Bay Harbor and Road Project, the Kivaliq Hydroelectric Line and the Yukon Clean Energy Project. Mr O’Toole particularly wants to reserve for the regions the budget envelope “which takes into account the high construction costs and weather conditions in the north”.

In addition, the Conservative forces are also planning to “eliminate the Bank of Canada’s failure of infrastructure and use unused funds to implement infrastructure projects that can boost our economy.” The party on Wednesday also reiterated its pledge to “connect all of Canada” to high-speed internet by 2025, in partnership with the provinces.

On Tuesday, Mr O’Toole said the Conservative government would balance the budget in 10 years “without cuts”, while remaining unclear on how it intends to achieve it. Remember that the economic recovery of the Conservative plan assumes annual GDP growth of about 3%, a target achieved only once since 2011.

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