Thank you, oh thank you for our bridges and highways

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As I opened The Telegram (July 17 edition), my peepers were assailed by yet another vomit-inducing paean of self-congratulation from our very own, one-of-a-kind, Progressive Conservative government.

Instead of simply announcing a program to replace and repair half a dozen of our dangerously dilapidated bridges, a pair of PC politicians took the opportunity to heap praise upon themselves and their party for the enormous act of philanthropy they were about to bestow on us (subject, no doubt, to possible Blue Book revision). You can almost hear the fanfare of trumpets.

In the words of Minister Paul Davis: “We deliver long-term benefits to residents and we also provide economic benefits for local companies and local communities,” and from MHA Eli Cross: “This investment demonstrates our government’s commitment to safe and secure highway infrastructure.”


What generous gifts

Apart from being turned off by the entirely predictable tub-thumping tenor of these platitude-filled proclamations, I am bothered a lot more by their underlying false assumptions:

1) It would, indeed, be a magnificent act of philanthropy if the money was actually coming out of the politicians’ own pockets, but in reality it’s coming out of ours.

Like stage magicians, they hope perhaps, by sleight of hand, to distract us from what’s really happening. But maybe I’m being too hard on them. They’re so accustomed to spouting it on every possible occasion that they might actually be brainwashed enough to believe their own propaganda.

2) In my naiveté I thought it was our government’s duty to keep our bridges and highway infrastructure “safe and secure” at all times.

Instead, we are apparently expected to believe that routine highway

and bridge maintenance is, in the words of Eugene Wigner, “a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve.”

Where, pray tell me, do these charlatans get off?


Tony Rockel


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Recent comments

  • Corporate Psycho
    August 21, 2013 - 18:52

    Don't forget Minister Fire Truck O'Brien.

  • Nellie
    August 21, 2013 - 16:11

    Our road conditions are shameful. In the past few years, we have driven though much of Canada and parts of the US but none of the road conditions were as bad as our home province. The people of this province deserve better. As well, for a government that spends so much money on promoting tourism, someone should at least think about what poor driving conditions those tourists have to travel over.

  • Jon Smith
    August 21, 2013 - 10:27

    The program of repairing and up-keeping of public infrastructure, especially roads and bridges is deplorable and sadly lacking in this province-probably the worst in the country. The commitment of money for a single large grey elephant project is likely the reason. The roads and bridges with the big bumps are unsafe and takes a toll on travellers and the vehicles-the moose are a minor nuisance in comparison. There are bump signs everywhere and some are in place for years with no repairs being attempted. You can look at the Outer Ring Road, the Harbour arterial. The TCH, veterans highway, commonwealth avenue, its everywhere. At the same time, to commit to spend $ 30 million to provide a bridge with a lift feature at Placentia is irresponsible. The Works, Services and Transportation Department should be renamed to Shoddy Works, Lacking Services and Deplorable Transportation. Why would Tourists come here to face those conditions????????