Trudeau climate czar SLAMMED for saying Ottawa will stop investing in new road infrastructure

Guilbeault later clarified that he meant to say the feds would no longer be funding "large" road projects.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
While speaking at an event hosted by a public transit advocacy group earlier this week, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault stated that the federal government would no longer be investing in new vehicular infrastructure, claiming that Canada's existing road network was "perfectly adequate."

Following backlash from coast to coast, Guilbeault clarified his statements, explaining that he meant to say that Ottawa would stop funding "large" road projects, such as the proposed Troisième Lien tunnel in Quebec City.

"Of course we're funding roads; we have programs to fund roads," Guilbeault told reporters in Ottawa. "Maybe I should have been more specific. We don't have funds for large projects."

As the Montreal Gazette reports, the environment minister's original statements made it seem as though funding for any new roads was off the table.

"Of course, we will continue to be there for cities, provinces and territories to maintain the existing network, but there will be no more envelopes from the federal government to enlarge the road network," he told the audience at the aforementioned event. "The analysis we have done is that the network is perfectly adequate to respond to the needs we have, and thanks to a mix of investment in active and public transit, in territorial planning and densification, we can very well achieve our goals of economic, social and human development without more enlargement of the road network."

His comments were lambasted by elected officials from across the country.

"So now our Environment Minister wants to cut federal funding for roads … because we should all just walk more?" Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said in a post on X. "Does this minister understand that most Canadians don't live in downtown Montreal? Most of us can't just head out the door in the snow and rain and just walk 10km to work each day."

Ontario Premier Doug Ford echoed her sentiments, saying he was "gobsmacked" by Guilbeault's suggestion. 

"We're building highways with or without a cent from the feds," he declared.

Perhaps the strongest rebuke came from Conservative Transport Critic Mark Strahl, who said the "radical position" taken by the Liberal minister "shows just how out of touch the Trudeau government is with the vast majority of Canadians, especially in rural areas."
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