Connect the dots, for cryin’ out loud

New Brunswick’s Minister of Transportation Paul Robichaud recently bragged about his government’s capital investments approved this year for highway and infrastructure improvements in the province. With New Brunswick exporting so much of its products including raw resources like forest, fish, minerals and peat moss we need good roads, the Minister said.

What he didn’t say is that since 2000, exports from New Brunswick that use these roads are down significantly. From 2000 to 2004, the value total exports – not including Irving’s refinery – are down by 7% and the decline is even more pronounced in a number of key sectors including: Paper Mills (down 30%), sawmills (down 13%), paperboard mills (down 32%), aquaculture (down 29%).

Thanks for the investment in roads, Minister, now how ’bout some in economic development to save the industries and people that use the roads?

Also, Mr. Minister, how ’bout telling people that if you hadn’t removed the toll highway in 1999 and added the hundreds of millions in cost to the public debt, you could have been building by now the much-needed four lane highway to northern New Brunswick which would open up the region to trade and investment.

So, go on fixing potholes so that David Coon can drive around and more effectively shoot the province’s economy in the foot.