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

Monday, July 02, 2007

...and curiouser

Last week Glorious Leader stepped out of his tissue-boxes, burned his clothes, and left his self-imposed hotel-room sequestration long enough to make the following claim during his Definitely Not A Campaign Stop in Wabush:

Of course, hard surfacing is a key component of theTrans-Labrador Highway project and the people of Labrador have become frustrated in regards to when that hard surfacing will begin, and rightfully so.
Yes, very rightfully so, what with the province "committing" money that was always contingent on the federal government "cost-sharing" a project that the federal government has already paid nearly 90% of.

You've certainly waited long enough for this important piece of the highway. Our government has had our money on the table for the past two years to cost share this work with the federal government. Unfortunately, the federal government has not done a great job of keeping this promise either to provide their fair share for the past two so we decided that we can wait no longer.
Someone should ask Danny Williams to define "fair share". Would a measly 10% or 12% of Labrador highway construction funding, which is roughly the provincial share over the past thirty-odd years, count as the province's "fair share"? Why or why not?

Isn't Labrador an integral part of the province?

Danny then makes the utterly bizarre claim:
And, of course, to rub some salt in the wounds and to add insult into injury, the Prime Minister went into New Brunswick a couple of days ago and announced severalhundred million dollars worth of road work there just basically to, sort of, to insult the people of Labrador on the basis of a promise that he had made.
Of all the political reasons that Harper re-announced highways funding in New Brunswick — and there's no doubt that there are numerous political reasons, with names like Greg Thompson and Mike Allan and Fredericton and Saint John — rubbing salt into Labrador wounds, and adding insult to Labrador injury, is probably not among them.

Does Danny Williams really believe that? Or, perhaps more to the point, does Danny Williams really believe that every politician in the country is as petty, childish, vindictive, and spiteful as he himself is?

Danny concludes:
I mean the minister and, obviously, the Mayors have maderepresentation to the federal government on keeping this promise, a promise, again, that we had in writing, a promise to cost share the construction of the Trans-Labrador Highway.
Very good, Danny.

It was, indeed, a promise to cost share the construction — the completion, actually — of the Trans-Labrador Highway.

So ask yourself, O Great Negotiator: why is it then that all you are seeking, and all you seem to want to settle for, is a cost-shared deal to pave the one-third of the TLH that happens to link the two vote-rich areas of Labrador West and Lake Melville?

Why, in particular, does your definition of "complete the Trans-Labrador Highway" not seem to include "hard-topping", the favourite phrase in NewSpeak, which happens to include the type of surfacing formerly derided as "cheap seal", of Phases II and III of the TLH?

Could the South Coast of Labrador be paying the price for the political crime of having not voted PC in the last election? After all, your own nomination contestant in Bay of Islands seems to think you've been exacting prices from opposition districts these past four years. (And he's probably on to something.)

It's fine for Danny to cast aspersions on the federal government on the TLH file.

But when is someone going to notice that it's the province, not the federal government, which has short-changed Labrador when it comes to highways spending over the years?

When is someone going to prick the balloon of Danny's use of the issue as yet another crypto-separatist fed-bashing job?

And when is someone going to notice that Harper's still-unfulfilled TLH promise was much broader and more encompassing than simply an election-year agreement to chip-seal the one third of the TLH which happens to link two districts with PC incumbents?

Why is Danny Williams, Great Negotiator, willing to settle for so much less as fulfillment of that promise?


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