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Federal minister promotes new transportation funding in online discussion

Federal minister promotes new transportation funding in online discussion

Following the Feb. 10 federal government announcement of $15 billion of investments in transportation systems over the next eight years, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna was part of an online discussion with area local government representatives and residents. The Facebook live event was hosted by local MP Patrick Weiler.
McKenna outlined that the new funding would cover capital improvements to local transportation systems, including ferries, transit, and active transportation infrastructure. She said the program was aimed at “making public transit an irresistible option” for travel when contrasted with the use of single-occupancy
McKenna fielded questions from area local elected officials, including Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton. Crompton floated ideas for public transit linkages from the Lower Mainland along the Sea to Sky Highway as far as Pemberton. Mary-Ann Booth, Mayor of West Vancouver, lobbied for federal support for a $150-200 million east to west highway corridor that would serve a number of jurisdictions in her area. McKenna encouraged both mayors to connect with Weiler and department staff on making applications for specific projects.
SCRD Board Chairperson Lori Pratt asked about federal funding and legislative support related to issues like landfills. She explained that our region, with its smaller taxation base, is struggling to manage high costs related to the closure of our landfill, finding and funding an option for waste disposal post-closure, as well as expensive waste diversion initiatives. Pratt asked for the minister’s views on the potential for federal bans on single-use plastics.
McKenna responded without making specific commitments. About single-use plastics, she agreed with Pratt about “the need to deal with the supply chain” and to eliminate “products that we just don’t need.” McKenna pointed to waste management solutions that the federal government is investing in. One example cited was an Edmonton facility that reclaims energy and reusable materials as part of that city’s sustainable approach to waste
The 45-minute online session also provided glimpses into the remote offices and private lives of the federal politicians involved. McKenna excused herself briefly to let out Skoki, her family’s dog. That move was made to deal with barking that began mid-session. With a relaxed laugh, she shared with viewers that Skoki was named after a ski lodge in Lake Louise, Alberta and that her duties following the event would include making the evening’s meal for her three
Connie Jordison

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