What are taxpayers getting for potential new airport?

For the past week, I have felt personally violated by our Liberal government, when news leaked that the federal government is intent on investing $18 million of taxpayers’ money in a new airport in Inverness to accommodate and patronize Cabot Links.

As a resident of Inverness County, I wish to begin by stating that I believe Cabot Links has been an amazing addition to our Island and has provided a much needed boost for tourism. This is in no way intended to disparage this enterprise but I do have very serious concerns regarding another airport on this small island. Our government has proposed squandering even more of our hard-earned taxpayers’ money to build a third airport.

The reality is this airport could not possibly be self-sustaining as it would be busy no more than six months of the year. To suggest it would create more jobs on this island is misleading; it’s a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. It would certainly harm any business enjoyed by both Sydney airport and particularly Port Hastings airport which has been providing excellent and critical air services with private investment, not taxpayers’ money, and certainly not $18 million of our taxpayers’ money.

I am a retired senior citizen who has worked hard and paid taxes for all my adult years. I have great reservations about remaining in Cape Breton, mostly because of the condition of our health care system as a result of mismanagement and bad decision- making over several years. Doctors and medical staff are tremendously over-worked and underpaid.

It only gets worse. But wait! We have $18 million for a third airport to transport less than eight per cent of the population for less than six months and have them confined to the resort. If they require air service and don’t have an hour to spare travelling from the Port Hastings airport with a breathtaking view of our coastline, then I expect little time or money will be spent in the surrounding town or neighbouring communities. I also expect the cost of flying from Inverness will be too expensive for many of the local folks, so yes, it will be for the elite.

Thank you Ontario MP John Brassard for standing up to the Liberal government by rejecting the idea of spending $18 million on another airport in Inverness. Unlike our MP Roger Cuzner, I am grateful you are sticking your nose in our business. Cuzner obviously lost touch with local folks a long time ago. Had he even spoken to anyone other than Cabot owners, he would recognize the position in which it puts all of our communities, as well as the Port Hastings and Sydney airports.

I would urge that more input and reasonable thought be put into this decision before proceeding. Our tax dollars should be used to serve all citizens, not just to accommodate the wealthy. I continue to feel more and more like I am living in a have not province where the rich get richer and the poor, well, who cares?

Marlene MacDonald