"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Promises, promises

In the 2003 provincial election, Danny Williams promised

A Progressive Conservative government will complete the Trans-Labrador Highway.
He did not promise

A Progressive Conservative government will complete the Trans-Labrador Highway if and when the federal government pays us to do it.
But that's all what he's offering:

Other road improvement plans include:
• $17 million for ongoing construction of Phase III of the Trans-Labrador Highway;
• $15 million to commence hard-surfacing of Phase I of the Trans-Labrador Highway – subject to cost-sharing with the federal government;
A "promise" or a "commitment" that is made contingent on someone else, other than you, doing something, is not a promise or commitment at all.

Given that the overwhelming majority of the funds that have ever been dedicated to building the Trans-Labrador Highway have come from federal coffers, the question must be asked: when is the province of which Labrador is supposedly a part going to kick in its share?

Danny Williams has become Brian Tobin and Roger Grimes; the Premiers whose governments one year promised:

"This compensation package makes it possible for the province to complete the Labrador West to Happy Valley-Goose Bay section, and a highway between Cartwright and Red Bay. However, it will not complete the link between Cartwright and Happy Valley-Goose Bay. The province will provide additional funds to complete that portion of the road[.]"
and then turned around and passed the buck:
"We have requested the federal government enter into a cost-shared funding agreement to complete Phase III, but we have not yet received a favourable response. We have gone on record as saying that the Trans Labrador Highway is the province’s number one priority, and we made a commitment to the people of Labrador that we would find a way to complete Phase III. Today I am pleased to say we will live up to that commitment."
Living up to a commitment by breaking it, is to have no committment at all.

In his coronation speech as PC Party leader, Danny Williams said:

It’s high time that Labradorians, instead of feeling like someone else’s treasure trove, started feeling like an integral part of our province. We cannot expect fair treatment from Ottawa if we don’t practise what we preach.
How's that going, anyway?

If Danny Williams is so "committed" to Labrador, and to the completion of the Trans-Labrador Highway, why can't his government start paving the road with or without federal money, and without prejudice to any future federal-provincial highways agreement?

Doesn't Labrador pay provincial taxes and contribute other provincial revenues?

Is Labrador part of a province? An integral part?

If so, which one?

If it is, and if it's so very integral, why do the Sun King's solemn promises and firm commitments come with federal strings attached?

When it comes to Labrador, when is Danny ever going to practise what he preaches?


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home