Construction advocate pushes potholes as election issue

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The Manitoba Heavy Construction Association is targeting frustrated drivers via radio ads as part of a campaign to make more consistent spending on road infrastructure a ballot issue.

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The Manitoba Heavy Construction Association is targeting frustrated drivers via radio ads as part of a campaign to make more consistent spending on road infrastructure a ballot issue.

“Hit a pothole lately? Brutal. Enough is enough. Tell your elected officials to fix the roads,” according to the advertisement read by a Winnipeg traffic reporter Tuesday morning.

All three levels of government need to recognize you can’t ignore an asset such as infrastructure, association president Chris Lorenc said.

All three levels of government need to recognize you can’t ignore infrastructure, says Manitoba Heavy Construction Association president Chris Lorenc. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press files)

“We intend to make the need for a strategic infrastructure plan, the need for a new fiscal deal, a political priority for the upcoming civic elections and to continue that pressure when the provincial elections emerge in 2023,” he said Tuesday.

Roads, sewers and water underpin the economy and allow it to grow, generating cash for government, Lorenc said.

“Regional streets is where commerce happens. Regional streets is where people move to jobs and product moves to market. If you don’t have those streets, you not only can’t continue that activity, but you can’t attract investment.”

However, infrastructure funding is unstable, Lorenc said.

“The funding for infrastructure in this country is akin to a pinball, it keeps bouncing around, between and within priorities — it’s not yet received the priority attention and secure, stable, incremental funding that it requires,” he said.

“What we’re seeing on the streets and the highways across this province this spring is symptomatic of that neglect and it requires redress. There needs to be a reorganization, a reprioritzation, a reallocation and a dedication of revenue.”

erik.pindera@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @erik_pindera

Erik Pindera

Erik Pindera
Reporter

Erik Pindera reports for the city desk, with a particular focus on crime and justice.

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