January 31, 2017
For Immediate Release
Why is Hawkins Hiding the Complete List of Roadwork Rankings?
“Release the List, Minister!”
Barry Petten, Transportation Critic for the Official Opposition, is challenging Transportation Minister Al Hawkins to release the complete list of ranked roadwork requests – not just those approved, but also those the government rejected – so people can judge for themselves whether the Liberal government’s roadwork decisions were really and truly evidence-based, free of politics as they claim.
“Why is the Minister hiding the full list? Why doesn’t he want people to see how their roadwork request scored on the government’s ranking scale? Why is he hiding this information from citizens, mayors and councilors, government and opposition members of the House of Assembly and the media? Why can’t people see how their roadwork requests ranked and find out why some of them were not considered to be priorities?” asked Petten.
The government’s five-year roadwork plan states that projects were approved according to “the evidence-based ranking system.” However, the plan published on January 31 contains no ranking information whatsoever for any projects that were not approved, and no ranking information for any of the projects approved to begin after 2018.
“If the government did an ‘evidence-based ranking’, then did the government rank every proposal before deciding which requests were the priorities? If they didn’t, then how can they call their decision ‘evidence-based’? And if they did, then show us the complete list,” said Petten.
In 2013 as Liberal leader, Dwight Ball stated: “My approach has always been to put a priority list in place on roadwork so people living in those areas will understand where their roads rank.”
The government’s news release of March 21, 2016 stated that roadwork projects had “gone through a rigorous assessment and ranking by our regional engineering experts, based on such criteria as safety, condition and economic impact.”
Petten said the Premier’s claim to have taken politics out of roadwork is similar to his claim to have taken politics out of appointments – a claim that he has not been able to back up.
“Where are the missing rankings? I challenge Transportation Minister Hawkins to release them now. People went through a great deal of trouble to tell government their roadwork needs. The government admits they received more than 560 submissions. People have a right to know how their needs ranked on the government’s score card,” said Petten.
Heather MacLean, Director of Operations and Communications
Office of the Official Opposition, (709) 729 6105, [email protected]