27 February 2009
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Good morning, everyone. Greetings to Premier Wall; to our Agriculture Minister, Gerry Ritz; to Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification; and to my other parliamentary colleagues with us this morning, Brad Trost, Kelly Block, Randy Hoback, and Maurice Vellacott. Thank you all for being here today.
In today’s difficult economic times, Canadians are looking to their governments to work together and to provide leadership to guide our country forward.
Last fall, I met with Premier Wall and the other first ministers to discuss how to do just that. Consensus on one point way very clear: to kick-start our economy we need to speed up construction on the bridges, highways, and other essential infrastructure that link us together as Canadians and connects us to the world. Not only will this create jobs for Canadians today, when they are needed most, it will also pave the way to Canada’s future economic growth and prosperity.
Moving Canada through difficult times and into a better future is the purpose of our government’s national Economic Action Plan. By addressing our short-term needs,
it meets Canada’s long-term goals. Our plan invests in everything from education and research, to traditional and cutting-edge sectors, and, of course, in infrastructure.
All across Canada, our government is working with the provinces to cut red tape and get these much-needed projects up and running. Which brings us to the reason we are here today: I am pleased to announce that our Government, in partnership with the Government of Saskatchewan, will accelerate construction of an essential Saskatchewan highway project – the twinning of Highway 11 between Saskatoon and Prince Albert. Thanks to this initiative, the time needed to complete the twinning will be cut in half – from eight years to four.
This means well-paying jobs will be created faster, goods and services will flow quicker, and the direct benefits to the people of Northern Saskatchewan will be enjoyed sooner.
Premier Wall will give us additional details, but I want to make it clear that today’s announcement is not simply about twinning a highway or the jobs that go with it – it’s about where we’re heading as a country. As the world struggles with the effects of the global recession, we as Canadians are looking ahead. And, in the weeks to come, our Government will be announcing more initiatives under our Economic Action Plan, all designed to create jobs and boost economic activity in communities across the country.
By looking forward today, and investing in key infrastructure like highways, our government is seizing the opportunities that will help get us through tough times, and ensure Canada emerges stronger than ever.
Once again, I’d like to thank Premier Wall for his leadership in partnering with us on this and other important projects to achieve results for the people of Saskatchewan and for our great country. Thank you.