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Yukon premier asks Congress to restore Alaska Highway funding

Radio Canada International

Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski is in Washington this week asking members of Congress to restore annual funding for Alaska Highway reconstruction.

In 1977, the governments of Canada and the United States agreed to share the costs of maintenance and improvement of the Alaska Highway. However, this funding was eliminated in the last U.S. annual budget. Pasloski believes that the United States has been getting a good deal and that the U.S. is responsible for maintaining the funding.

"Canada, the Yukon and British Columbia have put nearly $1.5 billion into the Alaska Highway, while the United States has provided about $460 million, so that’s a little less than 25 percent," he says.

"I tell the senators and members of Congressmen: `Look, you have invested approximately 25 percent of the money spent on the road, but 85 percent of the traffic is U.S. traffic,’” he says.

The Yukon premier says his message is well received by Republicans and Democrats and that he has received letters of support from the Teamsters and the American Trucking Associations.

He believes, however, that Yukoners will have to wait two or three months to hear back from U.S. lawmakers on the subject.