Communication and transportation promises must be kept
Christopher Mitchelmore, NDP MHA for The Straits-White Bay North, says the provincial government must take a serious look at vital infrastructure needs in southern Labrador and the Great Northern Peninsula.
“Advanced telecommunications is essential to economic development. Last month the Feds announced $1.35 million to improve broadband services to North West River and Sheshatshiu,” Mitchelmore said in the House of Assembly today. “It was announced in 2011 that the province, feds, Bell, SmartLabrador and Nalcor were investing $24 million to provide a fibre backbone to 19,000 people in central and western Labrador.
“With Muskrat Falls power passing along the communities of the South Coast of Labrador and Great Northern Peninsula, I ask the Minister of IBRD when can they expect to see similar investments in Broadband and dealing with chronic capacity issues or will they remain forgotten?”
Mitchelmore also wanted to know the status of the Northern Strategic Plan, announced in 2007 as a five-year plan. He says some of the core promises in that plan have not been kept.
“Air Access Strategy funding was cut midway through its five years. As well, the five-year Northern Strategic Plan of 2007 says it will finalize a decision on a central airport for Southern Labrador,” he said.
“The people do not have a reliable air service, limiting economic growth in Southeastern Labrador, and are calling for enhanced service - capable of handling aircraft larger than the Twin Otter.
“I ask the Minister of IBRD what is the status of a centralized airstrip or are you abandoning this commitment like the air access strategy?”