A $750K question: Can a subsea tunnel link Newfoundland with Labrador?
Could a multimillion-dollar subsea tunnel under the Strait of Belle Isle finally link Newfoundland with Labrador?
It's a question making political waves in the cash-strapped province, as critics question plans to spend up to $750,000 on another study.
The tunnel under the strait, which is about 15 kilometres at its most narrow, would connect about 26,000 residents of the mainland with the island of Newfoundland.
NDP and Tory critics say even if the long-held dream of a fixed link with Labrador was viable, the oil price crash has led to a fiscal crisis in the province.
NDP Leader Earle McCurdy says tax dollars should be spent on greater needs.
The Liberal government says the money for the study was earmarked in the last budget as part of efforts to expand the economy, but none has been spent so far.
Progressive Conservative member Barry Petten says a study 12 years ago already recommended a single-lane tunnel with an electric train shuttle for vehicles.
But with an estimated cost of $1.7 billion with financing — and 11 years for development — the project stalled.