Liberals’ planned Hwy. 7 re-announcement rings hollowApril 1, 2014
QUEEN’S PARK – The Liberal government plans to make a flurry of new spending announcements across the province during April, including a re-announcement of the Highway 7 project in Waterloo Region, according to a secret communications plan provided to the Ontario PC Caucus by whistle-blowers in the civil service.
“Seven years ago, the Liberals included plans to expand Highway 7 in their 2007 budget – just ahead of a provincial election,” Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris said today. “Then only three years later, in 2010, the Liberals shelved this long-awaited project, claiming the province couldn’t afford it. So how can anyone seriously believe that Kathleen Wynne will follow through this time?”
The confidential document released today was provided to the Ontario PC Caucus by civil servants who are frustrated that the bureaucracy is being used to promote $5.7 billion in new spending announcements ahead of the Liberals’ budget expected in May. The document shows that the Liberals plan to announce that they will, once again, include the Highway 7 project in their 2014 budget – just weeks ahead of a potential spring election. But construction won’t start until 2016 and the road won’t be completed until 2021.
“If the Liberals had followed through with their first commitment seven years ago, we’d have a new Highway 7. But because they backtracked on their promise, they can now only realistically promise to complete the new road by 2021; that is, if they don’t up and cancel it again,” Harris said.
“In 2010, when the Liberals walked away from building Highway 7, they told the people of Waterloo Region that the province couldn’t afford this project. Then they went on to waste $1.1 billion on cancelling gas plants in Mississauga and Oakville to save five Liberal MPPs from losing their seats in the 2011 election. If the Liberals get desperate to save another seat, why wouldn’t they cancel the Highway 7 project again?”