NDP political paving not up to scratch
HALIFAX, NS - A chip-sealing job done out of season on a Cabinet Minister’s road is falling apart.
The Renfew Road in front of the home of Cabinet Minister John MacDonell is full of potholes and washed out shoulders. The road was paved in October 2011, outside of the normal chip-sealing season, and was listed using the alias Grand Lake Road on the NDP’s road paving plan.
“If the road had been done by the companies who have the expertise, it would have been guaranteed,” said PC leader Jamie Baillie. “Now Nova Scotia taxpayers will be paying twice. First for the original chip-seal job, and now for the repairs only eight months later.”
The Minister had previously squashed an effort by local residents to have the road paved because his family would have to pay their share of the costs. Baillie said Minister MacDonell had a political problem that he needed to make go away in a hurry, and now taxpayers are on the hook for fixing the problems.
“All so an NDP cabinet minister could take care of a paving problem on his own doorstep,” he added.
It came to light last November that the NDP government is doing chip-sealing at a cost that is almost $10,000 per kilometre, or 25 per cent, higher than private road building companies. By the government's own admission, they were doing chip-sealing work for $50,000 per kilometre while the private sector was doing the same work for just under $40,000 per kilometre.
Road builders association Executive Director Grant Feltmate said his organization anticipated that quality problems would arise this spring.
"Private companies would have completed the work for significantly less cost, hopefully without any quality issues and regardless would have handled any necessary repairs out of their own pockets, not at even more cost to the taxpayers," said Feltmate.
The chip-sealing operation started by the NDP government completed approximately 40 of the 366 kilometres promised in the “business plan” used as a rationale for investing $1.4 million in new equipment and additional funds in new personnel. Even with the missed targets, the roads leading to the homes of five sitting NDP politicians were chip-sealed or paved last season.
The NDP government has expanded their government paving operation this year by purchasing a $3.6 million mobile asphalt plant. The plant is late arriving and the NDP’s paving plan has already missed the first two months of the season.
Photos of damaged road. Renfrew Road/Monte Vista Road