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by Mark Milke of the Fraser Institute
As Canadians enjoy the May long weekend and look ahead to summer vacations, many will obviously use their car, truck or SUV to get to their favourite vacation spot. Unfortunately, they will also have to contemplate driving on highways built decades ago and for many fewer automobiles than traverse our nation's highways today.
In recent weeks, Western Canadians in particular have seen front-page stories about traffic deaths on major highways. The first was the recent late-April accident when seven people died on the mostly two-lane Highway 63 that connects Fort McMurray to central Alberta; the second was the mid-May misfortune on the mostly two-lane Trans-Canada Highway near Golden, B.C., which claimed the life of a Calgary woman. And drivers across Canada can likely think of dangerous patches of blacktop in their locale.
I have never driven the Fort McMurray highway -- it is a five-hour drive and for many is a regular commute -- but I am well familiar with the Trans-Canada Highway through British Columbia. Both suffer from the same problem: with rare exception and a few improvements in recent years, both are mostly two lanes with unique reasons why that's a problem: the Fort McMurray highway is the main artery to the oil sands, including all the industrial traffic that implies; the Trans-Canada is in the middle of some of the continent's steepest peaks and in winter, in the path of danger. In the winter of 2011, 35 avalanches in a few days necessitated the temporary closure of that highway until the avalanche danger passed.
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Oh Yeah ! what about spending some on the $ 1.3 Billion they collect in gas taxes , on highway infrastructure , instead of slush funds to get re-elected !
The Fraser Institute is nothing but a corporate shill. Every single policy it proposes or advocates is in opposition to the interests of people. If governments are "cash strapped" it's because of organizations like the Fraser Institute that endlessly push for corporate tax cuts.