It’s too bad that only Liberal leadership candidate Danny Dumaresque has the vision to push the idea of a tunnel across the Strait of Belle Isle.
Dumaresque was in Corner Brook Tuesday promoting his leadership bid and making a case for building a tunnel to connect the island part of the province with Labrador.
Building a connection isn’t a new idea. Among his other larger-than-life ideas, Joey Smallwood waxed eloquent in the 1960s about building a causeway across the tiny separation between the mainland and the insular part of the province.
Former premier Frank Moores even went as far as to set off a blast of dynamite at Yankee Point in the early 1970s while looking for votes.
Still, only a ferry service connects the two parts of the province.
That was somewhat satisfactory in the days before the building of the Trans-Labrador Highway began or the massive industrial growth overtook what we call the Big Land. While Labrador’s small population doesn’t make a strong argument for it, completion of the Quebec North Shore would be the scale tipper in terms of making it a viable cargo link with the remainder of Canada.
The idea of a tunnel is worth pursuing, but it will take more than Danny Dumaresque and a few other backers to see the value in the project.
Digging a tunnel across the strait is much less daunting than it once was.
With the passage of time and improvements in technology, creating a underground hole to connect the province can be accomplished almost routinely these days.
The “Chunnel” under the English Channel connecting Britain and France is far longer but it continues to allow a quick train trip between the two countries.
A tunnel connecting the island part of the province to North America would almost certainly be a boon for commerce and tourism, provided the pavement is laid on the Quebec side.
All it would take is a politician with plenty of imagination, commitment and a lot of money.