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Enquirica Research Poll: Federal Infrastructure Spending Proposals Not Consistent with the Priorities of Albertans

Albertans would prefer to see federal infrastructure dollars spent on Highway 63, the critical gateway to oil sands projects.

Calgary, Canada, November 08, 2012 --( A recent poll commissioned by Enquirica Research and conducted by Dr. Faron Ellis of the Citizens Society Research Lab revealed that Albertans oppose the plan by the federal government to fully fund the New International Trade Crossing (NITC), a bridge that would compete with the privately-owned Ambassador Bridge for the declining traffic crossing the Detroit River. Instead, Albertans would prefer to see federal infrastructure dollars directed to twin Highway 63, the critical northern gateway to oil sands projects.

When considered within the context of a series of possible federal government funding options, like much needed improvements to Alberta’s Highway 63, a new Detroit-Windsor bridge has very little support, only 3.9%. Support for twinning Highway 63 enjoys the support of almost 20% of Albertans, with support for spending on municipal infrastructure projects (41%) being higher. (39.8% of Albertans indicated they would prefer a tax cut to any additional federal infrastructure spending.)

An advocate for twinning Highway 63, and the publisher of, Nicole Auser, believes federal infrastructure priorities are not consistent with the priorities of Albertans.

“The Canadian government is investing billions in a bridge to Detroit, but only $150 million to improving the corridor to Alberta's oil sands. I would like to see more federal dollars contributed to transportation in the region that is driving Canada’s economy,” said Auser.

Auser continued:

“I applaud the province for sticking to their promise of making Highway 63 a priority.

“The Highway 63 twinning cost estimate has grown from $650 million in 2006 to around $1 billion today, yet the federal government’s commitment of $150 million has stayed the same.

“Over 70 people have died on Highway 63 over the past four years. If financial restraints prevent twinning completion within the next four years, we are likely to see dozens of more fatalities.

“To twin Highway 63, the Province of Alberta has to borrow a few hundred million dollars and pay it back over the next 20 years, yet the federal government chooses to spend billions on a bridge to Detroit.”
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Enquirica Research
Matthew Johnston

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