Liberals attack government for over-promising on Bay d'Espoir Highway paving

Russell Cochrane
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Liberal MHA Tom Osborne wanted to know Monday why the government is paving about 20 per cent of the road it said it would do.

In the House of Assembly, Osborne questioned the credibility of a March 5 announcement by Minister of Transportation and Works Nick McGrath regarding roadwork on the Bay d’Espoir Highway.

McGrath said performing the work as a multiyear project is a realistic delivery on the promised $30-million expenditure for 33 kilometres of paved highway.

Spread out

The government’s March 5 news release didn’t make any reference to the fact the work would happen over the course of several years.

“The project tender calls for the rehabilitation of more than 30 kilometres of Route 360, Bay d’Espoir Highway,” the initial release said. “The work will include upgrades between kilometres 80.6 and 86.6, as well as kilometres 170.9 to 198.2. The closing date for the project tender is April 1, 2014.”

Standard practice

But McGrath said spreading that kind of work out over a few years is standard.

“Quite often the highway or the road that we’re talking about has to be rebuilt and that can’t all be done overnight,” he said. “What we’re doing is we’re setting up our programs in our tenders this year — and the contractors have been asking for this for a long time — so that we set up programs and tenders that they can actually go out and schedule the work to get it done.”

Osborne said the announcement was political posturing.

“You are trying to get political points by announcing 33 kilometres in a tender this year, but only allowing 20 per cent of the work to be done this year,” he said. “Is it because it’s an election year?”

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Recent comments

  • Gordon Benoit
    April 09, 2014 - 15:56

    True Don Jackman, the Nick McGrath announcement seems to be the same one made by Dunderdale just a year ago.

  • Scott
    April 09, 2014 - 05:49

    @ Willie, Actually its the Liberals not the PC's, Tell me Willie about any of the Liberals policy? Besides Bill 29, and complaining about everything. Willie ask Dwight or anyone of his MHA's for a solution concerning any of those problems. Then when you find out anything, lets the rest of us know about it...Please.

  • John
    April 08, 2014 - 20:22

    Tender Posting at for all 33kms - Closes April 14th: http://www.tw.gov.nl.ca/tenderingandcontracts/scripts/SelectReportCriteria.asp 106-13PHP 4/14/2014 12:00 Noon 4/14/2014 12:01:00 PM 3/5/2014 Contact Description: Pulverize & pave 6.0 km R360, km 80.6 to km 86.6, Bay D�Espoir Highway to a RCU80 standard. Rehabilitate 27.3 km R360, km 170.9 to km 198.2, to a RLU80M standard, NL PURCHASE PRICE: $ 45.20 Note: So it is all tendered and reference to more than one year must be allowing the completion to extend into next year if needed to get the work done (hope so anyway). I make no comment but just provide information for those interested to get more facts, ask their own questions, and make their own opinions.

  • Dave
    April 08, 2014 - 13:50

    I have been to that district many times over the past 20 plus years. Yes, the roads are terrible and it will not take 1 year to complete all of that work. I would venture to state that the people of that district must be overjoyed to have the funding announced and good for them, they are some of the nicest people in Canada. As for Don's comment, If you live in that area I take it you are below the age of 25. By you saying that your rep is an embarrassment for the current condition of the area I think you have those partisan red glasses on and may need to take those off and have a good look around. I am not a huge PC supporter but given my years of traveling across NL that area is proof of rural revitalization. They went from being desolate and ignored when they had a rep in Cabinet and now there is actually industry and services in the region.

  • Dave
    April 08, 2014 - 13:48

    I have been to that district many times over the past 20 plus years. Yes, the roads are terrible and it will not take 1 year to complete all of that work. I would venture to state that the people of that district must be overjoyed to have the funding announced and good for them, they are some of the nicest people in Canada. As for Don's comment, If you live in that area I take it you are below the age of 25. By you saying that your rep is an embarrassment for the current condition of the area I think you have those partisan red glasses on and may need to take those off and have a good look around. I am not a huge PC supporter but given my years of traveling across NL that area is proof of rural revitalization. They went from being desolate and ignored when they had a rep in Cabinet and now there is actually industry and services in the region.

  • Don Jackman
    April 08, 2014 - 09:10

    This is the fifth announcement for pavement by Tracey Perry in the last few years and not one inch of pavement yet. I contacted Tracey Perry's office when this announcement was made and she clarified that the work was to be done this year. Why the change now? The announcements she makes are like riddles and it is doing nothing but causing people to wonder why she would just lie over and over again about what she is supposedly doing for us. Tracey Perry will get a full pension if elected for the next four years and she is getting desperate now by pulling another stunt like this. First she announced the pavement several years ago and we did not get anything at all. The same the year after that, and then she brought Paul Davis out and re-announced what was promised before, and we did not get it done and now Nick Mcgrath came to Hr. Breton and made this announcement again and we are still not getting the work promised. Tracey is becoming an embarrassment to this area. I cannot believe that Tracey Perry is trying to pull this scam again.

  • Laughable
    April 08, 2014 - 05:09

    Tom your becoming the joke of the liberals party, You got to cut the cloth according to materials. Yes we has taxpayers would like to see everything done over night. But we also got to be a little ( REALISTIC ),There only so much money to go around. Tom you and the rest of the Zebra party, always complaining about Government over spending, Now they are trying to manager tax dollars little more prudent, Your still complaining. So Tom what your really saying, If the Liberals were in power. Everything would be taken care off? No thoughts where the money may come from. Just spend. If that going to be the action of gangs, we are in for hard times. Thank you Tom, for your thoughts, Zebra party won't be getting my vote.

    • Willie
      April 08, 2014 - 07:36

      What's ''laughable'' is that your entire rant provides no justification as to why the government made a splash about paving 33 km's of road when all they've committed to is 6.6 km's. Call a spade a spade, the PC's are desperate to get reelected. Their backpeddling on their arrogance since their polls took a dump tells it all. Wither a) they've been totally incompetent in what they been doing or b) they've been managing our resources responsibly, but are more concerned about their jobs than doing what' s right. Than again, maybe it's both. No surprise there.