"Building Canada" - Stronger, safer, better - Canada's New Government and Province of Manitoba to invest in highway interchange and grade separation projects near Portage La Prairie



    WINNIPEG, Oct. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's New Government and the Province
of Manitoba today announced a proposed strategic infrastructure project under
the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative (APGCI). The Honourable
Vic Toews, President of the Treasury Board, on behalf of the Honourable
Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and
the Honourable David Emerson, Minister of International Trade and Minister for
the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, along with the
Honourable Ron Lemieux, Manitoba Minister of Infrastructure and
Transportation, made the announcement.
    As part of the APGCI, Canada's New Government will invest up to
$21 million for the construction of an interchange of the TransCanada and
Yellowhead highways and of a road/rail grade separation at the Canadian
National Railway (CNR) main line. The junction of these highways is seven
kilometres west of the City of Portage La Prairie. This investment flows
through the Government of Canada's Building Canada Plan for infrastructure.
    "Manitoba plays an integral role in Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway and
Corridor Initiative," said Minister Toews. "Today's announcement demonstrates
that Canada's New Government is delivering on its commitment to invest in
priority infrastructure projects as part of the Building Canada Plan."
    "Investing in strategic infrastructure is key to Canada's competitiveness
in the rapidly changing world of global commerce, and benefits our
communities," said Minister Cannon. "We are committed to establishing the
Gateway and Corridor system as the best link between North America and Asia,
and will continue to work with the provinces and stakeholders to make it
happen."
    "This new interchange is critical to making sure we have a competitive
transportation and logistics system all the way from our West Coast ports to
the heartland of the North American market," said Minister Emerson. "By
strengthening our links to the fast-growing economies of Asia, the
Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative will bring benefits to
communities all across Canada."
    The proposed project is expected to cost approximately $50 million and
incorporates two components:

    
       - upgrading an at-grade, traffic signal-controlled intersection at the
         TransCanada and Yellowhead highways to a grade-separated
         interchange; and
       - upgrading the at-grade crossing at the nearby CNR main line to a
         grade-separated facility.
    

    The TransCanada and Yellowhead highways with the CNR main line are two of
the three primary east-west transportation corridors across Canada (the other
being the Canadian Pacific Railway main line). These corridors are the main
conduit for international trade traffic to and from Eastern Canada, Western
Canada and the Asia-Pacific rim.
    "We are pleased to announce that we have set aside a total of $29 million
in provincial support for this project, which will be another step in our
unprecedented investment in our highways and infrastructure," said
Minister Lemieux. "This will also boost our economic opportunities and growth.
The Trans Canada Highway and the Yellowhead Route are key to Manitoba's
expanding role as a strategic link to the Asia-Pacific gateways and
corridors."
    This project will improve intermodal connectivity by facilitating truck
and rail movements to rail container yards in Winnipeg and other intermodal
facilities located in this region. It will also improve access to the border
crossing with United States, to Eastern Canada markets, and to the ports of
Vancouver and Prince Rupert.
    The local community will benefit from this project, which will improve
traffic flow and enhance transportation infrastructure safety and security.
The proposed road and rail grade separation will also result in environmental
benefits, as these upgrades will reduce congestion and vehicle emissions.
    The APGCI is a national initiative that will provide economic benefits to
all Canadians. In its first eight months, APGCI projects valued at
$2.2 billion were announced across all four western provinces, including a
federal contribution of almost $800 million. The project announced today was
submitted for APGCI funding and ranked well within APGCI criteria.
    Through its unprecedented $33-billion Building Canada infrastructure
plan, the Government of Canada will provide long-term, stable and predictable
funding to help meet infrastructure needs across Canada. Building Canada will
support a stronger, safer and better country. Over the last several months,
the Government of Canada has met with provinces, territories and the municipal
sector to discuss the Building Canada Plan with a view to signing agreements
and beginning to fund initiatives under the plan.
    The funding announced today is conditional on the project meeting
eligibility requirements under the Building Canada Plan and successful
negotiation with the province of Manitoba of subsequent agreements and a full
federal due diligence.
    For more information about Canada's APGCI, please visit www.apgci.gc.ca,
and for more information on the Building Canada Plan, please visit
www.infrastructure.gc.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700;
François Jubinville, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of
International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the
Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, Ottawa, (613) 992-7332; Mike Storeshaw, Director
of Communications, Office of the President of the Treasury Board, Ottawa,
(613) 957-2666; Trade Media Relations Office, Foreign Affairs and
International Trade Canada, (613) 996-2000, http://www.international.gc.ca;
Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; John B. Thorpe,
Communications Coordinator, Communications Services Manitoba, Winnipeg, (204)
945-4997; Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news
releases and speeches at www.tc.gc.ca/listserv/ and keep up-to-date on the
latest from Transport Canada. This news release may be made available in
alternative formats for persons with visual disabilities.


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