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LETTER: N.L. politicians need to talk about resettlement

['Letter to the editor']
['Letter to the editor']

Newfoundland and Labrador has a population of approximately 500,000 people spread over a huge geographic landscape.

The province has a ferry program which services many isolated communities all over the province.

The provincial government is spending too much money providing access through road and ferry programs to isolated and remote communities which do not have a strong economic case for continuing as government supported municipalities.

South Coast communities such as Gaultois and McCallum are only accessible by a ferry service which regularly has as few as three passengers.

McCallum, in particular, is an hour and a half from the dock in Hermitage and has only 70 people and three school-aged children.

The Northern Peninsula, which is predicted to see a 40 per cent population decline in the next twenty years, is also facing the issue of too many unsustainable communities; efforts need to be taken to resettle many of these communities into St. Anthony.

The other reality is that the majority of these communities cannot attract the professionals necessary (doctors, teachers, social workers, etc.) to offer the services needed to upkeep a modern level of service access.

It is not a political expedient conversation to have and the Liberals have been using the rural vote to keep their voter base afloat for decades; however, the cost of up-keeping these communities is not sustainable.

The Opposition parties need to raise these issues and not be complacently silent like the Liberals.

Maria McMaster,
St. John’s


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