Councillor says no way to highway

Daniel MacEachern
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A St. John’s city councillor wants the provincial government to take ownership of the Team Gushue Highway extension — and says the city should block access to it if the province doesn’t agree.

Jonathan Galgay

Coun. Jonathan Galgay served notice Monday at city council’s weekly public meeting he intends to move a motion next week that the city decline to take ownership of the long-delayed extension — including the estimated $1 million in annual maintenance costs.

“It has always been my position that it is a provincial highway and therefore the responsibility should be with the provincial government,” Galgay told reporters after the meeting, adding that he’d discussed the issue with members of the previous Progressive Conservative administration. He hopes the new Liberal government will see it his way.

When completed — it was originally supposed to be finished in 2013 — the highway will connect the Outer Ring Road in north St. John’s with Robert E. Howlett Memorial Drive in the south, and is intended to ease traffic congestion on other streets.

Galgay said the eventual maintenance costs are not currently allocated in the city’s budget.

“If we were to take over the highway, we will need to find an additional $1 million in savings internally to cover the cost, and I don’t think that should be on the backs of (St. John’s) taxpayers. It is a regional road,” he said.

Asked what the city should do if the province doesn’t agree, Galgay said the city should restrict access to the extension.

“I am fairly confident that there’s a number of councillors around this table that have no interest in taking over the road,” said Galgay, adding that in the more than two years he’s been on city council, he has yet to see an actual agreement that indicates the city should take on ownership of the extension.

“All I’ve been getting is verbal updates from our senior staff when I meet with the provincial government,” he said. “The fact of the matter is we have budgetary restraints, and I don’t know what the taxpayers would think if we went next year and said that your taxes are going up to cover the costs of a provincial highway. … This is a new council, it has a new direction, and it is my hope that my colleagues will feel the same way I do, and that a provincial roadway shouldn’t be downloaded onto a municipal government.”



Geographic location: Outer Ring Road

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Recent comments

  • coaster
    January 20, 2016 - 08:45

    He is getting verbal updates from senior staff, is that the same staff he already threw under the bus? Once again he will not be at fault, it will be the senior staff's fault, a true politician in every sense of the word.

  • yesby
    January 19, 2016 - 22:14

    What a joke! He was talking about barricading Mt. Pearl off the extension a while below “It has always been my position that it is a provincial highway and therefore the responsibility should be with the provincial government” - Galgay

  • BTO
    January 19, 2016 - 10:27

    YessirieBob, indeed Mount Pearl should take over St John's. Better management, better services, lower taxes, improved garbage collection, no more nets, bulk garbage collection, and, no more verbal bs crap. Wouldn't need Dannyland land for fire stations, either. That's about 9 million saved right there. That'd be good, right?

  • Jack
    January 19, 2016 - 10:07

    Jonathan "The Bully" Galgay, since the Newfoundland and Labrador Government technically own Team Gushue Highway as its designated a "provincial highway", you have no right whatsoever to restrict access to this road and hold the whole province hostage. Secondly, because Newfoundland and Labrador taxpayers paid to build Team Gushue Highway, we should decided whom gets access, not Townie politicians like yourself. I know I'm being blunt, but it makes me so mad when municipalities think they can control the province, including our provincial highways like Team Gushue Highway. Keep it up Mr. Galgay, and I hope you get voted out come September 26, 2017 when municipal elections take place.

  • Fred Dart
    January 19, 2016 - 09:20

    The picture is worth a thousand words!!!!!!!

  • Observer
    January 19, 2016 - 09:12

    Jonathan Galgay, the de facto mayor of St. John's. Not that I mind....someone's got to be mayor because O'Keefe certainly isn't doing the job he was elected to do.

    • Kev
      January 19, 2016 - 09:53

      You mean he *wasn't* elected to attend cruise ship conventions in sunny climes during the dead of a St. John's winter?

    • TB
      January 19, 2016 - 11:30

      Just because Galgay loves talking to the media it doesn't make him mayor.

  • Ken Collis
    January 19, 2016 - 06:50

    Galgay, the Fabian Manning of municipal politics. A one hit wonder. When Galgay was knocking on doors and making promises to voters, I hope you got a signed contract from him and not just a letter of intent. Did he mention that he planned massive tax increases during this provincial recession?

  • D
    January 19, 2016 - 04:40

    What budgetary restraints is Galgay talking about? The absolute need to subsidize Dannyland and the IceCraps? Time to vote this clown out and send him the way of the dodo bird.

  • Bob
    January 18, 2016 - 22:35

    Strange, when the council had money, they were quite willing to take over this provincial responsibility . Now, with the downturn in the economy and assessment rates outrageously high, I think that Mt.Pearl should take over St.John's for better management.

    • James
      January 19, 2016 - 09:53

      I am assuming that the Mayor thought it in best interest at the time to assume responsibility for this road system in order to redirect a 1x Federal Capital Works grant to finish off the waste treatment facility on the harbor front.

  • Kev
    January 18, 2016 - 21:50

    Galgay is getting his quota of headlines for the week early this time.