Potholes, right. Potholes on the road to the millennium.
The auditor general also agrees that it is the number one problem. He confirmed that it will take $17 billion to restore, not improve, our highway system to a standard that is acceptable.
Two years ago, the minister laid out highway spending as his number one priority. It has not happened. Nothing has happened. There have been Department of Transport studies and even Federation of Canadian Municipalities studies. A couple of years ago, the transport committee wrote a very indepth report stating that the highways needed a great deal of repair.
It is interesting that even the Liberal members of parliament, about a month ago, wrote a report called “Catching Tomorrow's Wave”, calling for government investment in highways. They condemned toll highways. These were written by Atlantic Canadian members of parliament. I do not know where they were when the Liberals were building these toll highways, but we did not hear anything from them then. Now they have discovered that those highways are not good for the economy and are not an appropriate way to fund highways.
Our number one competitor in the global economy has recognized the problem. The United States has just recently identified and dedicated $36 billion only over six years to improve the system.
Where we are is that we do not have a system at all. Our system is in disarray. Our highway funding system was abandoned years ago. Our competitors are getting ahead of us and that is where we are.