By David F. Rooney
MLA Norm Macdonald, along with area mayors and MP David Wilks, met Friday, November 1, with a representative of the federal cabinet to discuss necessary upgrades to the Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) which runs through the communities of Revelstoke and Golden.
A meeting arranged in Calgary by Wilks once again gave him, Macdonald, Mayor Christina Benty of Golden and Mayor David Raven of Revelstoke the opportunity to raise this important issue. Their meeting was with Colin Carrie, parliamentary secretary to Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq.
“My first trip to meet with the federal government on this issue occurred when I was mayor of Golden, and it is through long-term lobbying that a series of upgrades have been completed,” Macdonald in a statement. “And it will take continuing diligence to ensure that the project to upgrade the TCH from Kamloops to the Alberta border is fully funded.
“I want to thank MP Wilks for his determination to ensure that the federal government makes a meaningful funding commitment to this critical infrastructure project. It is through working together at the municipal, provincial and federal level that we get the attention that this area needs.”
MP David Wilks was not immediately available for comment but Mayor Raven replied to questions from The Current saying, “the meeting went very well.”
He described their discussion as “open and frank” and said Mayor Al Raine from Sun Peaks joined the quartet from the Kootenays in the meeting with Carrie.
“The meeting was timely following my meeting with Provincial Minister Todd Stone on Wednesday and we were able to reiterate the need for cooperative cost sharing by the province and federal governments,” Raven said. “We stressed the need for solid financial commitments within the next months to push the planned projects ahead as soon as possible, and the need for the federal government to address the TCH through the national parks.