Top News

Liberals make Labrador fixed link commitment in platform

This map shows the location of a proposed tunnel connecting Labrador to the island of Newfoundland, from Point Amour to a site near Flower’s Cove.
This map shows the location of a proposed tunnel connecting Labrador to the island of Newfoundland, from Point Amour to a site near Flower’s Cove. - Contributed

NDP and Conservative Party of Canada make no such promises

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

The Liberal Party of Canada says it wants to see a fixed link between the island portion of the province and Labrador, though details on the pledge end around there. 

“We will begin right away by supporting projects like the Newfoundland-Labrador fixed transportation link, which will give people living on the island of Newfoundland a permanent and secure way to travel to and from mainland Canada, while helping to make things like food and household goods more affordable,” reads the pledge, which is the only explicit reference to Newfoundland and Labrador in the party platform. 

The idea of a fixed link between the island and Labrador has been thought of for decades, with a 2004 feasibility study for the project laying out a cost estimate of more than $1 billion for the project. 

Since then, Premier Dwight Ball released a study on the matter, conducted by engineering firm Hatch in 2018. The pre-feasibility study estimated costs of the project between $1.6 billion and $2.7 billion, depending on the financing costs. Another $20-million to $22-million feasibility study by the province has yet to be completed. 

The Liberal Party of Canada commitment does not go further than the above paragraph. 

Not in CPC and NDP platforms

Conservative Party of Canada candidate in Labrador Larry Fleming says the Conservative party does not have any similar commitments relating to a fixed link in its platform. He says the Liberal mention of the project smells of vote buying.

“We’re not ones to make empty promises just to go buy votes. If there was merit in the project, then it’s part of a much longer-term plan,” said Fleming. 

“With the ferry contracts in place, it doesn’t seem like they’ve given it a lot of thought.”

Jack Harris, the New Democratic Party's candidate in St. John’s East, says the NDP also doesn't have a commitment on a fixed-link project. He says there’s an “air of unreality” about the proposal.

“It says they’re setting up a national infrastructure fund, which is nice, and they’ll support projects like this one. That’s not much of a commitment, frankly,” Harris said.

“We’re talking about a project that’s been on the go for quite a while. If they were serious, we’d have an announcement from Mr. Trudeau on this.”

The Green Party also does not have a promise on a fixed link in its election platform.

Recent Stories