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

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Flash back, flash forward

In an early example of what autonomy would come to mean for Our Dear Premier (note that it is “Ottawa” that should do the completing here), Danny Williams told the Labrador West Transportation Symposium in February 2001:
Ottawa should now complete the interprovincial highway system by joining the Trans Canada Highway, the Trans Labrador Highway and the Trans Newfoundland Highway into a continuous drive from coast to coast. We have waited long enough to finish the drive!

I tell you now, that any government I lead will have this as a top priority. We will seek the participation of the federal government and the Quebec government in a joint investigation of the feasibility of constructing a fixed link across the Strait of Belle Isle, and connecting a completed Trans Labrador Highway to the national highways system.
Eight years later, next door in Quebec, La Conférence régionale des élus — approximately equivalent to the Combined Councils of Labrador — is again turning up the heat on the highways front, pushing for expedited work on the 389, which links Baie-Comeau and Labrador City, and on the long-dreamt-of extension of the 138 the rest of the way along the Lower North Shore, which would provide a second public surface route to Labrador and Newfoundland.

(coverage by Le Nord-Est and Radio-Canada Côte-Nord, en français.)

The CRÉ is even taking things one step further, proposing that the 389 not only be upgraded along its existing course, but that it also be extended north to Schefferville and Kuujuaq. The group was taking advantage of consultations on the Quebec government’s Plan nord to promote the idea

Meanwhile in Dannystan, the Northern Strategic Plan for Labrador — in a province where Ministers admit to playing it by ear — consists of a re-packaging of Stuff The Government Was Going To Do Anyway. Even the website for the Northern Strategic Plan for Labrador (as opposed to the Northern Strategic Plan for the Burin Peninsula?) has been bit-bucketted.

Danny Williams-Government won’t entertain the idea, cheap as the idea itself is, of building a highway into northern Labrador, until sometime well into the 2020s or after.

And Danny Williams-Government himself, who once said he’d have a grand ol’ chat with Jean Charest about Route 138, a necessary prerequisite for the Danny Williams Memorial Tunnel, has now taken to spitting the words “Jean Charest” and “Quebec” as epithets.

So much for seeking the participation of Quebec in improving transportation in the northeastern corner of Canada.

And so much for top priorities.



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