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

Monday, March 26, 2007

Who needs facts when you've got rants?

Bill Rowe this afternoon picked up on yet another favourite Newfoundland nationalist froth of late. A slight paraphrase:

"PEI got a bridge? How come we don't got a bridge? Canada sucks."

Bill Rowe, the Rhodes Scholar Bill Rowe, then said that the Confederation Bridge to PEI cost "untold billions of dollars".

Then he quantified the untold cost: "four billion dollars for 100,000 people."

About 17 seconds of research would tell Bill Rowe, and anyone else, that the PEI bridge cost about $1-billion in 1997 dollars, about $1.1-billion in 2004 dollars.

The cheapest of the Strait of Belle Isle fixed link options, by contrast is estimated at nearly $1.6-billion in 2004 dollars, and that's assuming no cost over-runs. The PEI flink went over cost by nearly 20%, a rate of over-run which would inflate the Stunnel's cost to nearly $2-billion in 2004 dollars.

The real difference, though, is not in costs, but in approach.

The PEI fixed link was built because the private sector pitched the federal and provincial governments on it.

If a Strait of Belle Isle tunnel makes such compelling business sense, why hasn't the private sector beat a path to the shores of the Strait of Belle Isle?


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