It’a all a matter of perspective

It’s a municipal politician’s prerogative to be skeptical about the promises and intentions of higher levels of government. You can’t say they don’t have plenty of reasons.

But what’s up with M.D. of Opportunity councillors slagging off the province on its plans for improving Hwy. 686? Some of the comments at the June 9 meeting might leave you thinking the government plans to totally ignore the road over the next four years, rather than improve it gradually, with final paving in 2025.

That is the plan, outlined in a letter to reeve Marcel Auger from Transportation Minister Ric McIver. One councillor dismissed it as the government “just shuffling Peerless-Trout again.” He seemed to imply that the promise wouldn’t be kept.

Well. Road improvements never come fast enough, there’s no doubt about that. But at least there’s a plan! Meanwhile, there is no plan for Hwy. 88, that we’ve heard of. At the current rate of decay, drivers heading north in 2025 to enjoy that brand-new pavement on Hwy. 686 might not make it that far. Their vehicles will be wrecked long before they get to Red Earth Creek, by the pothole-riddled 88. Which, by the way, we’ve heard is in way better shape up north than it is down here at the south end.

It’s all a matter of perspective.

Meanwhile, our area has been promised a few kilometres of pavement this year for Hwy. 2, both east and west of Slave Lake. It won’t be coming a moment too soon, considering the dismal shape of the road. But Hwy. 88 continues to languish, falling apart as it gets pounded by freezing, thawing and heavy traffic.

Getting back to 686. The current provincial government might have a lot of bad habits, but as far as we know, one of them isn’t making promises to upgrade roads by a certain date and then changing its mind.

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