Election 2015: Infrastructure

By Chad Klassen
September 30, 2015 - 12:26pm Updated: October 1, 2015 - 11:35am

Infrastructure upgrades like the Overlanders bridge reconstruction in Kamloops can be a pain, but as the city ages, they are all the more necessary, and federal candidates in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo know it. 

Conservative candidate Cathy Mcleod has worked to secure federal funding for infrastructure projects in Kamloops, most recently the water intake system for the North Thompson river.

As a party, the Conservatives introduced a $5.8 billion plan last November to build and repair infrastructure across the country. 

"We just had a number of recent announcements. The water intake project for the North Thompson was one funded through small communities," says McLeod. "Then, there's the new Building Canada fund, with significant dollars. One of the announcements most recently was the twinning of Highway One right through to Chase."

The NDP's Bill Sundhu believes new infrastructure projects can help kickstart a stagnant economy. The NDP has a better transit plan, a $1.3 billion promise annually over the next 20 years, for more stable public transit.

"Another $1.5 billion to repair our crumbling roads, bridges, water systems, and so forth, and that's been cost effected," promises Sundhu. "Over 20 years, we would propose these two programs, so that municipalities and towns have stable, long-term funding."

Liberal candidate Steve Powrie have unveiled the largest infrastructure plan in Canadian history. It's an investment of $125 billion over the next decade, up from $65 billion, including more affording housing. 

"What's unique about our infrastructure program is that it's three separate areas of infrastructure. One is your typical roads, bridges, physical infrastructure," Powrie says. 

"But then there's social infrastructure, which would include affordable housing, green technology, and child care spaces for those who need it most. Then the other part of this is, it's a green technology infrastructure, where we're going to promote green technology industries. In the world right now, it's one of the fastest growing industries.

The Green candidate Matt Greenwood says there's a major infrastructure deficit in Canada. His party would take 1% of the GST, generating $6.5 billion annually, and that could be used to fund projects like the Overlanders bridge reconstruction and other road work.

The Green Party has also promised $3 billion for six key area of infrastructure. 

"Rather than just one big national municipal fund for everything, we would split that into six sub-categories: brownfield cleanup, transit improvement, and things like that," says Greenwood. "Municipalities can target specific projects from each of those, and therefore have a much better chance of getting the things done they need."

The candidates say infrastructure is the No. 1 key to keeping up with growing populations, and promise to bring more necessary projects to Kamloops.



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