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Friday, August 12, 2016

August 12, 2016

 

For Immediate Release

 

 

 

Liberals Fail to Consult with Municipalities Before Hitting 70 with Mid-Year Shock of Increased Snowclearing Costs

 

 

 

Barry Petten, Transportation and Works Critic for the Official Opposition, said, “The province’s Liberals have failed to consult with municipalities before hitting 70 of them with the mid-year shock of increased snowclearing costs.”

 

 

 

“In their 2016 Budget, the Liberals announced that the Department of Transportation and Works would stop providing winter road maintenance in municipalities where contractor services are available. But in many municipalities, contractor services are not available. The Liberals have not properly engaged the municipalities in talks about what the government is planning to do to municipalities without local contractors, and as a consequence, they have left towns without clear direction, answers or opportunities to raise their concerns.

 

 

 

“The Liberals are now saying that, in municipalities that can prove - to the government's satisfaction - that they are unable to secure local contractor services, the Department may provide the service - but it will now charge the municipality $6,600 per kilometre, an increase of $1,600 a kilometre. That is a significant cost increase to municipalities that have already created their budgets for this year, but the Liberals have not bothered to talk about this with concerned municipalities that are wondering where they will find the money or what services they may have to drop in order to pay for this.

 

 

 

“The lack of consultation has left some municipalities wondering if their snowclearing services might be stopped altogether. Left without guidance from the province, residents are concerned that they might not be able to access their properties or businesses during the winter months,” said Petten.

 

 

 

The Liberals have simply told municipalities that they have until August 31, 2016 to submit a written request to the Department of Transportation and Works for snowclearing services, and that must include documentation to prove - to the government's satisfaction - that they cannot get a local contractor to provide this service.

 

 

 

“After having gouged the province’s taxpayers with enormous tax and fee increases, the provincial Liberals are now downloading costs on taxpayers at the municipal level, but they are doing so without engaging the municipalities in meaningful dialogue, and that's just wrong,” said Petten.

 

 

 

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Media Contact: Heather MacLean, Director of Communications, Office of the Official Opposition

 

(709) 729 6105, heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca

 

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