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Pothole protests: Labrador mayor wants his town to join Quebec

The Canadian Press
Pothole protests: Labrador mayor wants his town to join Quebec

L’ANSE-AU-LOUP, N.L. — The mayor of a small town in southern Labrador says he has grown so frustrated with the poor state of the Trans-Labrador Highway that he is openly advocating for his town to become part of Quebec.

Hedley Ryland, mayor of L’Anse-au-Loup, has also supported a series of roadside protests, which on July 24 included blockades of the local highway maintenance depot and the office of the area’s member of the legislature.

Ryland says there are so many potholes along a 44-kilometre section of the highway that it is too dangerous to drive at night, and he says local garages are making a fortune repairing blown tires and bent rims.

The mayor says the province has committed to fixing an 11-kilometre section, but he says the protests won’t stop until Premier Dwight Ball agrees to fill the holes along a 20-kilometre portion that stretches from the Quebec border to Ryland’s community.

Ryland says he’s in favour of having his town join Quebec because the highway on the other side of the border is in much better shape — and most of the area’s health care and shopping needs are handled in the neighbouring province.

Local protesters recently gathered along the highway near the Quebec border, where they delayed all commercial vehicles as police looked on.

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