The Northern View: Rice raises Prince Rupert infrastructure concerns in the Legislature

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February 20, 2015 | Shaun Thomas | The Northern View

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice brought the issue of Prince Rupert’s aging infrastructure to the Legislature this week, but Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Coralee Oakes did to provide a solid answer or commitment regarding her concerns.

“Prince Rupert’s infrastructure has crumbled while this government has ignored it for the past decade-and-a-half. Our water system is dangerously outdated, our bridges and roads need massive improvements and, though we will soon see toilets that flush at the airport, it still takes residents and business owners hours to access that airport on our hopelessly outdate transportation system. That is driving businesses out of town,” she said during question period on Feb. 17.

“If you ask the residents of Prince Rupert, they will tell you that our infrastructure has been neglected for far too long … my question is to the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development: When are you finally going to step up and invest in the infrastructure Prince Rupert so badly needs?”

For her part, Oakes said the City of Prince Rupert should make sure to apply for grants offered through the province.

“I look forward to meeting with the mayor of Prince Rupert today to talk about the Build Canada Project that supports local governments with infrastructure that is necessary,” she said.

“This past summer we had the opportunity to work closely with local governments and the federal government to have a $2.76 billion agreement for gas tax for the next 10 years. This will support local governments in need of infrastructure, whether it’s water, waste water, airports or other needed infrastructure.”