To the editor,
After being closed for more than 19 hours, the Trans-Canada Highway between Revelstoke and Golden has finally re-opened.
The federal government has been collecting a federal excise tax at a flat rate of 10 cents per litre on gasoline since 1995.
That money should all be invested in the widening of that highway to include four lanes and to maintain it to a safe standard, but that is not happening, and today a long section through central B.C. has become a very dangerous piece of road to travel, frequently resulting in serious multi-vehicle accidents, many of them fatal, as it continues to deteriorate, while traffic continues to increase.
Politicians a long time ago recognized that if spending those gas-tax dollars was made more “visible” it could translate into more votes, but the money was re-directed and re-assigned to be “invested” in community infrastructure across the country.
Provincial governments participate in those developments, turning our community infrastructure development into a costly and wasteful three-way dog and pony show, competing for that vote.
The end result is long and costly delays for desperately needed infrastructures that are now stalled by a three-way consultation process to determine how to get the most votes per dollar invested, before projects are finally approved.
Municipal councillors, who should be making those decisions, have become bit-players with MPs holding the trump cards, while our MLAs try to fit under the umbrella.
That is why we see not one, but three hands on that shovel when it finally happens.
Editor’s note: This letter was submitted following road closures on Jan. 8, 2020.