Whitehorse: Liberal Leader Sandy Silver says a high profile lobbying trip to Washington has produced no results on the Shakwak highway funding file. In March the Premier travelled to Washington in an attempt to have Shakwak funding re-instated after it was cut-off by the United States government in 2012.
“This government has been lobbying unsuccessfully to have this funding re-instated and it is also spending down what money had been banked over the years. This reserve is now almost empty,” said Silver. “This is bad news for our economy and our road-builders. Each summer, hundreds of Yukoners are employed because of this funding and it wasn’t that long ago that Yukon spent $25-30 million a year from Shakwak on our highways. This year it is only $15 million and getting smaller each year.”
Silver noted the government has had little to say about the project since the Premier’s Washington trip.
“It appears this government’s lobbying in Washington was ineffective. The Premier was there in March and we have heard nothing since,” he said. “We know the federal Conservatives have provided little help on this file as well, in terms of their lobbying efforts bearing any fruit.”
According to the Government of Yukon’s website, there is $240 million of work left to do as part of the Shakwak project.
“It is certainly beyond the reach of our own budget to get this work done alone,” said Silver. “What follow-up has been done since the Premier’s unsuccessful trip to Washington this spring?”
Since the 1970s the United States government has, under the Shakwak project, been providing funding to upgrade the highway from Haines, Alaska, to Beaver Creek. The funding provided for construction over that period has totaled more than $400 million.
For additional information contact:
Brad Weston, 393-6430
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