I am continually seeing people protesting the NB government’s decision to add a lane to the highway leading to Saint John’s suburbs. Many people, including the Mayor, think that cancelling the project will solve all of Saint John’s problems by having the people living in the suburbs move back into the city.

People move to the suburbs for many reasons, not because there is a 6-lane highway for 7km. They have been doing it in Saint John for over 40 years, well before they widened the Mackay to 4 lanes from 2.

Will cancelling the expansion make the water more drinkable? One could argue that the money could be used for it, but one would have to assume that the city would spend it properly. Can you really trust them to do that considering they spent $23.5 million on a transit garage? (overspending by about $13M by my calculations)

Will cancelling the expansion make the city smell better? The raw sewage will eventually stop going into the harbour, but unless they can make the benzene smell like flowers, the suburbs will still smell better.

Will cancelling the expansion make the fog go away?

Will cancelling the expansion make housing more affordable and of higher quality?

Will cancelling the expansion get a police station built in a proper location? This is a textbook example of the pot calling the kettle black. They go and criticize the provincial government for their highway project, yet they try to build a 2 story police station on a prime piece of land that’s already zoned for a 22 story building.

Saint John has a long history of poor planning decisions: the hospital and university are out in the middle of the woods, the malls are built in a flood zone, there are 4-lane roads in the middle of nowhere, they don’t know where the boundaries of their largest park actually are, etc, etc.  Instead of simply bashing suburbanites, they need to take a long hard look at their own problems and at least make it look like they are trying to fix them.