Yvonne Jones, Opposition Labrador Affairs Critic and MHA for the District of
Cartwright - L’Anse Au Clair, says former Transportation and Works Minister
Tom Rideout used his influence as Minister to have a road in his own
district included in the National Highway System instead of designating
Route 516 from Cartwright to the Goose Bay Junction.
In September, the
Council of the Ministers for Transportation and Highway Safety met and
agreed to an expansion of the National Highway System. The task force was
comprised of officials from all provinces, territories and Transport Canada.
"I find it hard to accept that the Minister was actively involved in the
discussions leading up to the release and acceptance of this report and he
neglected to include this road from Cartwright to the Goose Bay Junction,"
said Jones. "It is essential that this highway in Labrador be included in
the National Highway system as a means of securing cost-shared funds for
maintenance and upkeep in the future. This omission makes no sense given the
fact that the highway network connecting all other major ports not
previously recognized, including Argentia, Blanc Sablon, St. Barbe and
Lewisporte were in the provisions adopted by the Council of Ministers.
"This 90km connection to the Port of Cartwright is essential for the
movement of goods in and out of Labrador by sea. Minister Rideout had been
in a conflict of interest concerning the Labrador Ferry Service since taking
office and it appears that this example is just another in the growing list
of uninformed decisions made by government with respect to southern
"It is time for the new Minister of Transportation and Works to take
action to rectify this omission in the report. By including the road in the
National Highway System, government will be better positioned to secure
cost-shared funding to upgrade and maintain the connection once the
remainder of the TransLabrador Highway is completed."