$750,000 Fixed Link Study Financed on

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Friday, May 6, 2016

May 6, 2016


For Immediate Release




$750,000 Fixed Link Study Financed on the Backs of Suffering People




Barry Petten, Transportation Critic for the Official Opposition, says, “It is unjustifiable that the Ball government is financing a $750,000 fixed link feasibility study this year on the backs of suffering families, particularly when a reputable study of the fixed link feasibility was completed barely more than a decade ago and concluded that a fixed link would cost upwards of 1.4 billion public dollars, which is likely double in today's dollars.” http://www.gov.nl.ca/publicat/fixedlink/




“The government has been telling people that the fiscal crisis this year is so desperate that it has no choice but to slash community libraries, increase the number of kids in classrooms, and burden families living cheque to cheque with exorbitant taxes and a levy – and yet it can pour three-quarters of a million dollars of public money into another fixed link study? This is on top of hiring external legal counsel and communications counsel for labour negotiations which will cost $500 per hour. What were the Cabinet ministers thinking when they approved these expenditures while slashing the core programs they’ve just axed and raising taxes through the roof?” Petten asked.




“Think about this. The government is cutting $858,300 in health services under the Labrador-Grenfell regional health authority in 2016. North and South coast patients will pay higher costs for less-frequent air service. Central, Northern and Coastal Labrador residents will lose subsidized orthodontic services. Flower’s Cove, Roddickton-Bide Arm, Port Hope Simpson and Charlottetown residents will have reduced dental services. Black Tickle residents will have reduced health clinic service. And nearly 90 per cent of the money the government claws out of these health services in the Labrador-Grenfell region will be poured into this fixed link study. People of the region will quite literally pay for this study through the teeth,” said Petten.




Petten also weighed the study against the cost for families of the Liberal levy. “Families earning between $25,000 and $36,000 a year are being forced to pay $300 each for the government’s levy, which the Premier said is urgently needed and will be canceled as soon as the money is not required. It will take the levy payments of 2,500 of these low-income families just to pay for this one fixed link study. How will these families feel seeing their children make sacrifices just so the Liberals can pour money into a fixed link study? Is this really a reasonable justification of the suffering these families will bear?” asked Petten.








Media Contact:


Heather MacLean,


Director of Communications,


Office of the Official Opposition,


(709) 729 6105,




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