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MEDIA RELEASE: Sudbury Greens Call on Ministers to Say No to Maley Drive Extension

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.

(SUDBURY) – David Robinson, the nominated candidate for the Green Party in the Sudbury riding, is urging Infrastructure Canada Minister Denis Lebel and Finance Minister Joe Oliver not to waste  taxpayer’s money on the Maley Drive Extension in next week’s budget.

“Maley Drive is not an economic development project,” says Robinson. “It is a luxury road planned 40 years ago for growth that didn’t happen.  We don’t need it and we can’t afford it.”

Robinson, who is a professional economist, has referred to the Maley Drive extension as a “fiscal suicide”.

“There hasn’t been a serious cost / benefit analysis undertaken,” says Robinson.  “Construction costs are likely to be much higher than forecast, and Sudbury taxpayers will be left on the hook for all the overruns.”

While some have suggested that Maley Drive will promote growth, Robinson believes that the new road is completely unnecessary for the economic and social well-being of the City.

“The City’s official plan actually calls for concentrating development on unused land near downtown, to promote greater densities and long-term sustainability,” says Robinson. “We don’t want to encourage new development scattered across the Canadian Shield by building more roads.  Please, Minister Oliver: Don’t waste scarce tax dollars on this road to nowhere.”

Prior to the Sudbury provincial by-election, the Province announced that it would provide $26.7 million in funding for Maley Drive, contingent upon equal funding commitments from municipal and federal governments.  With the City having confirmed it will pay for its one third of the costs, federal funding would likely now lock the City into making a fiscally unsustainable decision to build Maley Drive.

“With one decision, Minister Lebel can cut waste at three levels of government,” says Robinson. “With Greater Sudbury facing a massive infrastructure deficit, Ministers Lebel and Oliver need to spend the money where it’s really needed.  And we can make cutting ribbons for sewer and water pipes into sexy photo-ops for them too.”

“I sincerely hope that Ministers Lebel and Oliver don’t help council buy this white elephant,” says Robinson.  “And I hope that our municipal decision makers have the courage to back out of this foolish project.  It was promoted by Sudbury’s least-popular council – the same council which was largely turfed out by voters last fall.”



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About the Sudbury Working Group

The Sudbury working-group of The Media Co-op was formed to create independent media in the North, to speak to our issues and outlooks on our communities as well as the world around us. Independent media provides an avenue for people who are wishing to gain critical perspective on the issues that matter most to us, and to give a voice to those people and stories that you won't find in the mainstream media.

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