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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December 6, 2016

 

For Immediate Release

 

24-Hour Snowclearing Cuts:

 

Compromising Safety to Save Money is Unacceptable

 

Barry Petten, Transportation Critic for the Official Opposition, is urging the Ball government to reverse their cuts to 24-hour snowclearing on the highways, which he says will save money at the expense of public safety.

 

“By eliminating 24-hour snowclearing, the government is risking the lives of everyone who has to use provincial roads such as the Outer Ring Road, Peacekeepers Way, Manuels Access Road, Foxtrap Access Road or Route 60 between 9:30 p.m. and 4:30 a.m., a significant stretch of time every day it snows,” said Petten.

 

“These are not rarely-used backroads. These are the main thoroughfares and busy roads which are used by thousands of vehicles each day, and keeping them clear of snow is a government responsibility. Many people work, study or take part in other activities after 9:30 p.m. and will have to return home over unplowed, snow-covered highways, risking accidents or worse.

 

“What happens if there is an emergency? How is an ambulance going to navigate a snow-covered highway quickly enough to get an ailing patient the care that he or she needs? What if there is a house or business fire? What if a woman goes into labour at a time when the highways are impassable due to unplowed snow? What if a person returning home from work, study or recreation gets stuck on an unplowed highway? People will be forced to take unacceptable risks to get to and from home,” said Petten.

 

“Placing lives in jeopardy is not a responsible strategy for cutting costs to save money. The Liberals have committed to a tunnel study at a cost of $1 million at the same time they make a decision to reduce 24 hour snow clearing to save $1.9 million – it simply makes no sense. Safety should be first priority. Eliminating waste is one thing, but money spent on evening snowclearing is not wasted. It is and investment to help keep people safe and secure,” added Petten.

 

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Media Contact: Heather MacLean

 

Director of Operations and Communications

 

Office of the Official Opposition

 

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

 

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