scattered people, geographic barriers, election issue, good roads, Trans-Canada Highway
Canada has one of the world’s best highway systems; good roads are essential to a country of such wide spaces, scattered people, and geographic barriers. The increasing use of these roads, however, coupled with reduced government expenditures, has led to a deterioration in their quality. This became an election issue in 1993, when the Liberal Party promised to establish a C$6 billion program to improve roads. After the Liberals won, C$2 billion of these funds was provided by Ottawa; the remainder was raised by municipal and provincial governments.
The total length of the federal and provincial highway system in Canada in 1995 was 246,012 km (152,865 mi). The Trans-Canada Highway, completed in 1962, stretches from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, to Victoria, British Columbia. In 1998 there were 459 registered passenger vehicles for every 1,000 Canadians, compared with 395 in Japan, 373 in Britain, and 478 in the United States. The trucking industry accounted for 37.7 percent of the total value generated within the Canadian transportation sector in 1994.
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