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Provincial highways budgets to increase over 16 per cent in 2008-09


Provincial highway capital budgets are set to rise by over 16 per cent in 2008-09, according to data collected by The Road and Infrastructure Program of Canada (TRIP Canada), a Special Committee of the Canadian Construction Association.

Over the first three months of 2008, TRIP Canada collected data from all provincial roadbuilding and heavy construction associations regarding their respective provincial highway capital budgets for 2008-09. When aggregated, provincial highway capital budgets are set to increase from $7.639 billion in 2007-08 to $8.934 billion in 2008-09, an annualized increase of 16.9 per cent. What is perhaps more revealing is that six provinces have unveiled record high provincial highway budgets, and that nine of ten provinces are increasing their highway budgets in 2008-09. Furthermore, these increases are on top of a combined increase of 26 per cent in 2007-08.

When broken down by province, New Brunswick and Quebec will witness the largest increase in budgets, with increases of 87.6 per cent and 60.5 per cent respectively — both record highs. Other provinces that will enjoy record high budgets include Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. Only British Columbia is expected to see a decrease in its capital highway budget.

“These figures suggest that provincial governments are recognizing the deficiencies in our highway systems, and are addressing these deficiencies with greater investments,” stated Chris McNally, Chairman of the Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Council of the Canadian Construction Association. “It appears as though the message about the need for better highways in this country is being heard.”

PROVINCIAL HIGHWAY CAPITAL BUDGETS; 2007-08 AND 2008-09

Newfoundland and Labrador
2007-08: $60 million, plus $90 million for other roads projects in other programs. (zero per cent increase, but 100 per cent increase from 2005-06)
2008-09: $73 million in Provincial Roads Improvement Program, plus $109 million in other programs (21.3 per cent increase combined) – RECORD HIGH

Nova Scotia
2007-08: $145 million
2008-09: $159 million (9.6 per cent increase)

New Brunswick
2007-08: $173.6 million
2009-09: $325.8 million (87.6 per cent increase) – RECORD HIGH

Prince Edward Island
2007-08: $28.62 million
2008-09: $31.62 million (10.5 per cent increase)

Quebec
2007-08: $1.7 billion
2008-09: $2.728 billion (60.5 per cent increase) – RECORD HIGH

Ontario
2007-08: $1.345 billion
2008-09: $1.484 billion (10.3 per cent increase) – RECORD HIGH

Manitoba
2007-08: $400 million
2008-09: $430 million (7.5 per cent increase) – RECORD HIGH

Saskatchewan
2007-08: $433.6 million
2008-09: $513 million (18.3 per cent increase) – RECORD HIGH

Alberta
2007-08: $1.379 billon
2008-09: $1.889 billion (36.9 per cent increase)

British Columbia
2007-08: $1.886 billion
2008-09: $1.193 billion (36.7 per cent decrease)




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