The provincial government has been taking a different tack on a number of issues since the departure of Kathy Dunderdale. Maybe it is time to take another look at the value of a tunnel under the Strait of Belle Isle.
The people of Southern Labrador would line up to support it, we’re sure. The missing piece remains the highway through the Quebec north shore.
This has been another winter of misery for the ferry system which connects Labrador with the island part of the province.
Ice conditions have caused countless delays — leaving passengers and cargo sitting in port waiting for a break in the weather or the service of an icebreaker.
Just this week, the Sir Robert Bond sat in Corner Brook for nearly a week because of severe ice conditions. That left passengers in the city or at the other end in Blanc Sablon cooling their heels, while spending their hard-earned money on accommodations and food.
Having the Bond use Corner Brook as a winter port was sufficient for a couple of warmer winters but that came to a sudden end this season. It just isn’t acceptable in 2014.
Millions of dollars have been spent pushing through the Trans-Labrador Highway to connect the two parts of the province and that is disrupted by an outmoded connection between the two land masses.
The distance across the Strait is tiny — you can see the other side on a good day.
If the federal government and province of Quebec move on a highway through the Quebec north shore, it would improve the viability of a link that can be used all year round.
The technology exists to dig the tunnel and the financing can be arranged in some form or another whether it be government money, a private deal or a combination of the two.
It’s been done in other places.
These kind of disruptive ice conditions may be around for a decade or a century — who knows?
It’s time planning for a dependable and permanent solution was begun.
Hoping for warmer winters just won’t cut it anymore.