At Least One Liberal Government Official Sees No Need For More Road Investment

Steven Guilbeault
Image via Wikimedia Commons.

First, hyper-liberal politicians targeted certain automobiles. Then, at the municipal level, they artificially created more traffic by constricting lanes in the name of a “road diet.” Ultimately, the next step in this logic is to completely do away with roads altogether. And that’s exactly what appears to be happening. At a recent conference on public transit in Montreal, Canada, Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault invited controversy when he said there would be no more spending on roads.

In a country as large and sparse as Canada, that proposition is preposterous and yet offers a rare glimpse behind the curtain at the contempt being directed toward everyday citizens from elected officials.

Guilbeault’s announcement that the government will halt investments in new road infrastructure, including freeway expansions and lane additions, has drawn criticism from skeptics who argue that such a decision overlooks the unique transportation needs of Canadians across diverse geographical regions. Many live in small rural communities where public transit isn’t viable or doesn’t exist, some commute great distances to work or school, while others remain in rural communities where self-sufficiency and transportation are cornerstones of daily survival.

Imagine being self-sufficient. It’s easy if you try.

Steven Guilbeault, a former Greenpeace activist that’s been arrested once or twice, defended the government’s position, flailing on about the existing road network adequately meeting current demands while claiming investments towards 15-minute communities would more than compensate for the economic fallout.

“Our government has made the decision to stop investing in new road infrastructure. 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,” Guilbeault was quoted by the Montreal Gazette.

Guilbeault acknowledged the ability of electric vehicles to shift the transportation narrative and solve climate change has been overestimated. As a result, his ruling Liberal government has been investing heavily in plans to inorganically move Canadians out of private cars and into public transit, or active forms of transportation like bicycles.

Guilbeault’s position appears to be in sync with what we see from the World Economic Forum’s position on such matters, which is perhaps the most influential non-government organization in the world. This can be seen from the many white papers and blog articles published by the WEF that fixate on concepts such as private vehicle reduction, 15-minute cities, car-free urban design, and public transit. All in the name of climate.

Indeed, it’s fair to feel skeptical towards an increasingly radical Liberal government that seems bent on restricting car ownership in Canada for a significant portion of the population.

“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, and territorial planning and densification, we can very well achieve our goals of economic, social and human development without more enlargement of the road network.”

In other words, Steven Guilbeault literally just said we’re not investing in roads anymore because the money is being spent on herding people into urban environments where transit and efficiency can be centrally planned for so-called economic, social and human good. The only real use for roads in this Liberal vision of the future is for moving goods from the production sites into the consumption zones of the densified urban cage. So unless you’re driving a parcel truck full of soy burgers and cricket meal, you might be taking the trolly.

Not long ago the argument on why we should pay taxes was focused on roads. How things have changed.

Written by Michael Accardi

Michael refuses to sit still, he's held multiple hands-on automotive jobs throughout his career. Along with being an investigative writer and accomplished photographer, Michael works for several motorsports organizations.

He was part of the Ford GT program at Multimatic, oversaw a fleet of Audi TCR race cars, has ziptied Lamborghini Super Trofeo cars back together, been over the wall in the Rolex 24, and worked in the cut-throat world of IndyCar.

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