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Judy Klassen raises concerns about the East Side Road and northern Airports

In Question Period on Wednesday October 10, Judy Klassen raises concerns about the situation of construction of the East Side Road and about the government's support for northern Airports.  Unfortunately, Ron Schuler was not giving any answers. 


East-Side Road Development

Request for Five-Year Plan
Ms. Judy Klassen (Kewatinook): In June of 2017, I   asked the Minister of Infrastructure about the development of the east-side road network. He said that in the upcoming session his department would table their five-year plan.
      This is now the third upcoming session since we had that discussion.
      Can the Minister of Infrastructure release the department's five-year plan for the development of the east-side roads today?
Hon. Ron Schuler (Minister of Infrastructure): Well, Madam Speaker, I don't know where to start, where we have started and where we have completed–[interjection]
Madam Speaker: Order.
Mr. Schuler: –projects that were never, ever even contemplated under the NDP, and I'd like to start with the Freedom Road. In 17 years not a mile, not a   yard, not an inch was ever accomplished under the NDP, and today we're in the final stages of completing the Freedom Road, something that was never, ever accomplished under 17 years of the NDP.
Madam Speaker: Order.
      The honourable member for Kewatinook, on a supplementary question.

Wasagamack Airport

Progress Update
Ms. Judy Klassen (Kewatinook): And I'd like to thank Trudeau for making that possible.
      Minister, I have also been requesting for–[interjection]
Madam Speaker: Order.
Ms. Klassen: –help for Wasagamack First Nation, for them to get an airport into–in their community due to the hazards they face when crossing the lake during emergency situations, and, in general, as they have no choice but to get to St. Mary Island to get to our airport to fly down south for medical reasons.
      Will the minister update us on the progress he has made regarding Wasagamack's airport?
Hon. Ron Schuler (Minister of Infrastructure): We announced some time ago that we were beginning a process of rationalizing the department of Manitoba Infrastructure, looking at what we do very well and what perhaps the private sector could do better and, Madam Speaker, one of the thing that we have done is looked at our airports. We are engaging with communities in the North and I would suggest to the member opposite: stay posted.
Madam Speaker: The honourable member for Kewatinook, on a final supplementary.

Sale of First Nations Airports

Government Intentions
Ms. Judy Klassen (Kewatinook): Allow me to quote the minister, when he–what he said to me: Wasagamack either chooses the airport or the all‑weather road, not both.
      Since this minister has this mindset, it begs the question: since his ministry has been trying to sell some of its smaller airports in First Nations to those specific First Nations, can the minister tell us if his ministry is attempting to deliberately mislead the First Nations?
      Once sold, is it the intention of the government to shut down all talks of all-weather road access into those First Nations once they own their airports?
* (14:30)
Hon. Ron Schuler (Minister of Infrastructure): Well, Madam Speaker, one of the things we won't do as a government is go out and campaign, going door to door and telling people we'd never raise taxes like under the NDP, and then get elected and raise taxes, raise the PST–[interjection]
Madam Speaker: Order.
Mr. Schuler: –and raise the PST on northerners, those who were, some of them, struggling and ended up having to pay a lot more, whether it was 'futting'–putting food on the table, paying for insurance, paying for automobiles and the like, Madam Speaker.
      Insofar as the airports are, up north, our government and–led by the minister of Aboriginal and northern affairs, Madam Speaker, we are going out to communities and we are speaking to these communities, to our First Nations, and suggesting to them that there is an opportunity with their airports, and we will continue to do so–

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