© Star photo by Gary Kean
Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dan Crummell announces funding for water projects in the district of Humber East in Corner Brook Thursday morning.
After announcing nearly $3 million in capital works funding for the district held by Premier Tom Marshall, Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dan Crummell defended how government has been distributing money lately Thursday.
Crummell was asked about government spending in districts held by Tory MHAs in light of criticism levelled this week by Opposition Municipal Affairs Critic Eddie Joyce.
In his press release, Joyce, the Liberal legislature member for Bay of Islands, noted that, of the more than $71.1 million spent by Crummell’s department in 2014, only $1.14 million has gone to districts not held by a PC member.
Joyce said the same holds true for fire and emergency vehicles. Eleven communities have received funding for fire trucks for a total of $2.35 million, but every one of those communities is located in a district currently represented by a government MHA.
Crummell said the 22 largest communities in the province have bigger demands and will receive the bulk of the money his department has to spend on cost-shared projects. It just so happens, said Crummell, that 18 of these larger municipalities are in districts held by government members, while two are represented by Liberals and the other two have multiple representation.
It’s just the way the numbers work out, Crummell said.
He was asked about a request for a new firetruck from the Town of Lark Harbour, which is in Joyce’s district, being denied by the province. Crummell said a replacement truck was found for that community.
Further, he said government is in discussions with Lark Harbour and the neighbouring community of York Harbour about amalgamation and that those discussions include talks about a new firetruck. Crummell said there soon may be some news on that truck.
In terms of the capital works announcement he made Thursday, Crummell said Pasadena will be getting $2.7 million to go towards its water treatment system, upgrading of the town depot, street reconstruction, lift station upgrades, the replacement of sewage lagoon compressors and for crosswalk crossing control and a splash pad.
The Town of Massey Drive will receive $150,000 for upgrades of Mountainview Road and Lady Diana Crescent, while the Steady Brook Volunteer Fire Department will be given $28,679 for four self-contained breathing apparatuses.