Sask. Party bypass is costing jobs and hurting communities

Despite a growing number of complaints by affected Saskatchewan communities, truck drivers, producers, and small businesses, the Sask. Party is refusing to address any of the concerns being raised about their $2 billion ballooning and failing Regina bypass project. 

“This was a political decision, with no consideration for our community,” said Dick Champlone who owns a restaurant in Balgonie near the bypass route. Without consultation, the Sask. Party permanently closed the entrance from the Trans-Canada Highway to Main street and now Champlone is being forced to close his business.

“Now, I have nine hard working employees out of work and the Sask Party doesn’t care. We tried to talk to our MLA, Don McMorris, and he did nothing. He wouldn’t even talk to us. How can he not listen to 2,300 people in your own constituency?”

NDP Leader Nicole Sarauer said the Sask. Party needs to finally start listening to local residents, who have also raised concerns about the bypass roundabouts being too small for producers and truck drivers to navigate as well as the permanent closure of Main Street which restricts access for emergency vehicles.

“The Sask. Party claimed, time and time again, that they had studied this project to death, but now we have roundabouts that can’t handle Saskatchewan trucks and equipment and entire communities that are losing jobs and worried about being less safe,” Sarauer said. “There are obvious and serious flaws in the design of this project but, instead of admitting they made mistakes and looking out for the best interests of Saskatchewan people, the Sask. Party seem more interested in defending their own partisan political interests.”

The Regina bypass project was originally slated to cost $400 million. Since then, the Sask Party handed the contract to a foreign conglomerate and the cost of the project has grown to $2 billion.