Message from the Minister
and Accountability Statement

Photograph -- Honourable Kevin Falcon.Jobs, opportunities and trade are increasing in British Columbia, and our government is investing in the province's transportation network to support our thriving economy.

This service plan lays out the Ministry of Transportation's goals for the next three years as we expand and strengthen the roads, rails, ferries, bridges, ports and airports that tie our communities together and link us to the world. During this period, we are investing over $2 billion in the future of British Columbia.

One of our foremost goals is to secure B.C.'s place as Canada's Pacific Gateway to North America, a modern and world-class connection for trade and travellers from the growing economies in the Asia Pacific.

The Province is moving ahead with major transportation investments and improvements. We are leading the way in connecting communities and opening up our trade corridors.

In the Peace Country, annual road improvements are ensuring increased oil and gas revenues, and improving safety for communities. In the Kicking Horse Canyon, the most important east-west transportation link through the Rocky Mountains, our partnership with the federal government is improving the safety and efficiency of the highway that links communities and serves as a vital trade and tourism route. In the Okanagan, the new five-lane William R. Bennett Bridge will open in 2008, eliminating the largest traffic bottleneck in B.C.'s interior. We are upgrading roads in the Cariboo and the North as we deal with the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation. In the Lower Mainland, the Border Infrastructure Program is well underway and the Province is moving forward with the $3 billion Gateway Program, relieving the congestion clogging our primary trade corridors. And our investments in B.C.'s regional airports are producing new economic benefits, enhancing both travel and tourism.

Along with these improvements to roads and bridges is an unprecedented investment in public transit, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, the largest in B.C.'s history. This investment reflects our commitment to keeping B.C.'s air clean, our roads uncongested and our people healthy. The provincial government is also a major investor in new and planned rapid transit lines that will carry tens of thousands of commuters a day.

The backbone of B.C.'s economy will continue to be our resource and tourism industries. We are revitalizing routes across the province to make sure they have the safe and reliable access they need.

I am proud of what we have accomplished so far. And I am particularly proud of my Ministry's employees who are an exceptional team of dedicated individuals striving toward the common goal of service excellence for all British Columbians. As this plan for the future shows, you can expect even more from B.C. in the years to come.

The Ministry of Transportation 2007/08 – 2009/10 Service Plan was prepared under my direction in accordance with the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act. I am accountable for the basis on which the plan has been prepared. All material fiscal assumptions and policy decisions as of February 13, 2007 have been considered in preparing the plan and I am accountable for achieving the specific objectives in the plan.

Honourable Kevin Falcon
Minister of Transportation

February 13, 2007

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