Today, Jamie Baillie announced that a Progressive Conservative government will double the existing Rural Impact Mitigation (RIM) budget.
“Since the Liberals formed government, they have nickel-and-dimed rural communities with the RIM budget,” said Baillie. “This isn’t leadership, and it lacks vision. Failing to invest more in the RIM budget means more dangerous roads, more money spent on vehicle repairs and rural areas falling into disrepair.”
The NDP cut the RIM budget in 2011, to a total of $15 million. The Liberals put back only $1 million of the $5 million cut. Since 2011, the reduction in spending to the RIM budget has totaled $27 million. The newly announced Liberal Gravel Road Capital Program, at $10 million per year, is more too-little-too-late action from Stephen McNeil.
An investment from the Rebuild Nova Scotia Fund will add $16 million per year to double the Department of Transportation’s RIM funding, improving rural and secondary road priorities like:
Shoulder and ditch maintenance
Guardrail improvements and maintenance
Gravel patching and grading
“With this sustained investment, a Progressive Conservative government will make rural areas better places to live, work and raise families,” said Baillie. “We believe that no matter where Nova Scotians live in this province, they should be confident that their local roads will be properly maintained.”
The investment in the RIM budget will be part of the Rebuild Nova Scotia Fund, Jamie Baillie’s plan to improve Nova Scotia’s infrastructure and create thousands of jobs. The RIM investment will consist of 100 per cent provincial funding from the Rebuild Nova Scotia Fund, part of an overall $2 billion investment in roads, bridges and other public infrastructure over the next ten years. These important investments will be made while anchoring the province’s debt-to-GDP ratio at its current level.