Road builders warned, but no one listened

Truck News

FREDERICTON, N.B. — One year before a crash at the Sussex interchange killed four children, a letter warning the province about safety hazards was received by the deputy minister of transportation.

David Johnstone, New Brunswick’s deputy minister of transportation, told a legislative committee Wednesday he saw the letter from the Road Builders’ Association of New Brunswick in May or June, 2000, one year before the crash. He says he did not take any steps to address their concerns because the roadway already met national standards.

Margaret-Ann Blaney, then transportation minister, maintains she never saw the letter, even though a note on the top of it addressed it to her.

Johnstone tells the legislature’s public accounts committee an evaluation on the road showed it met national standards and since plans were in the works to make changes there in the next few years, no steps were taken to address the concerns raised by the road builders.

“It is extremely surprising to me, given the comments contained in the letter that he would not have discussed this with the minister. If I had been the minister, I would not have been pleased,” says Liberal leader Bernard Richardd outside the committee room.

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