10 August 2009

“Accelerated” Labrador roads work actually happening next year – as planned

The provincial government is  “accelerating” its commitment to road work in Labrador  - whatever the heck that means - but that doesn’t mean the work will be done in 2009.

A government news release issued last week started with these glorious words:

The Williams Government is accelerating its commitment to revitalize the Trans Labrador Highway (TLH) by issuing a tender to lay asphalt on an additional 50 kilometre section of Phase I from Happy Valley-Goose Bay towards Churchill Falls. Rather than wait until next year to award the contract, the Provincial Government is getting ready now to award this further work.

That’s additional as in more than the 30 kilometres scheduled to be paved this year and the 80 kilometres to be widened.

There was even a quote from Labrador affairs minister John  Hickey saying that “[t]his accelerated work on the Trans Labrador Highway is an excellent example of this government’s effort to realize its long-term vision for Labrador.”

But just like Tom Rideout couldn’t tell time, John Hickey and his colleagues are apparently having some difficulty with the concept “accelerated”.

As Hickey told The Labradorian this week: “We’re not sure if we’ll be able to get  all of that paving done this year, but it’s our hope to have it started.”

Now in this case, “accelerated”  would normally mean faster  than anticipated or than originally plan.  What Hickey told The Labradorian this week is that – despite his claims last week – the paving on the Trans-Labrador Highway between Churchill Falls and Goose Bay will be finished in 2001-2011…as originally planned.

Last week’s news release was evidently part of some sort of poll-goosing spin campaign.  Heaven only knows what Hickey’s most recent comments were all about. Maybe it’s yet another hickey-up.