Saskatchewan

NDP voicing concern after west Regina bypass sees only 10 per cent of expected traffic

Saskatchewan's NDP is raising concerns about the lack of traffic use on the GTH's west Regina bypass.

Bypass design from 2014 projected more than 6,400 vehicle trips every day

The Regina bypass project that allows highway traffic to avoid going through city streets has been under construction for several years. (Kendall Latimer/CBC)

Saskatchewan's NDP says the lack of vehicle traffic through the Global Transportation Hub's (GTH) west Regina bypass is an indication that the port is failing.

The bypass design from 2014 projected more than 6,400 vehicle trips every day, but last year's annual GTH report shows only about 650 vehicles going through the inland port per day.

The NDP's Cathy Sproule says the bypass design is currently benefiting Loblaws, one of the GTH's tenants, but it's hurting taxpayers.

CBC recently reported that over the past four years the government has provided $500,000 of taxpayer money to pay part of the bill for a bus service for private companies at the GTH — including Loblaws and Emterra.

Don Morgan, minister responsible for the GTH, recently said the government will try to end the subsidy.

Nevertheless, Sproule said residents are still losing out on the bypass.

"Taxpayers are again subsidizing Loblaws," she said.

The NDP's Cathy Sproule says the bypass design is benefiting Loblaws but hurting taxpayers. (CBC News)

Sproule asked the government how much Loblaws paid for their plot of land on the GTH during Tuesday's question period, but the government did not provide an answer.

"We can't find out how much Loblaws paid for the land, if they even paid for it at all," she said.

When asked about the NDP's GTH concerns during question period, Premier Scott Moe suggested the province should not be involved with the GTH from a business standpoint.

"It's incumbent on us, I think, to realize that this is a business that likely the government of Saskatchewan should never have been in and should not be in as we move forward," he said.

However, Lori Carr, minister of highways and infrastructure, said she expects traffic to increase once the bypass is complete. 

- With files from Adam Hunter and Geoff Leo

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