As a former resident of Labrador, I make several trips to the coast each year to visit family and friends.
As any person who travels this road will tell you, the section of road between Blanc Sablon and Lodge Bay leaves a lot to be desired. Even the so-called ‘paved’ road between L’Anse au Clair and Red Bay is a death trap.
The Red Bay to Lodge Bay section of road is far beyond anything that any person should be expected to tolerate. The horror stories, and complaints have fallen on deaf ears, and cannot be heard above the “Voisey Bay’s” and the “Muskrat Falls.” This government has shown a total disregard for the people of Labrador. As in the days of the fish merchants, when the governments were run by the merchants, Labrador was plundered of its resources and its people made into paupers. This was all done for the benefit of Newfoundland. Very little has changed. In regard to roads and communications, Labrador is already 40 years behind the rest of the province. We listen daily to the government moaning and groaning how Quebec is always giving us the short end of the stick. Our own government has treated its own people of Labrador worse than any Quebec government ever treated Newfoundland and Labrador.
The government will be quick to point out that the Labrador highway is being worked on at the present time. Don’t let that fool you. This snail-pace work will continue into the next several years, until someone needs it to save their political behind, or there is a major disaster. We all remember the potholes of St. John’s that made the national news two nights in a row. The people of the coast would be happy if their road ONLY had potholes. We are talking of mile after mile that is not suitable for anything other than an off road vehicle. Pavement will be a blessing, but the need is there now to make this so-called highway safe to put a vehicle on. The paper mills of the province have better woods roads than the southern Labrador highway, primarily because they have respect for the safety and well being for their people that use them.
In all fairness we can’t blame it all on our political representatives. We are the ones that put them where they are today. Little did we know that they would turn into a bunch of puppets and “desk thumpers.”
Now is not the time to be silent. It’s time for the people of Labrador to take a strong stand. I don’t condone breaking the law, but if that means locking the gates at strategic times, so be it.
Lloyd Pye, Stephenville, NL