I keep thinking back to Peter Vigue’s public address in Dover-Foxcroft on May 31.

The most telling moment for me was his response when asked about his proposed east-west highway’s official tagline: Transportation-Utility-Communications.

Several times, he said his company, Cianbro, has no intention to have a gas line or cable run along the highway. When asked exactly what “utility” meant in the tagline, he said, “Do you know what the energy needs of the future will be?”

This seems like a clear sign that he is not totally against the idea.

A gas line or other utility may not be Vigue’s intent, but if Cianbro successfully acquires the 220 proposed miles from Calais to Coburn Gore, it’s highly conceivable that gas companies intend to pay Cianbro lots of money to use its land.

Cianbro, after all, is a business driven by profit. Vigue, himself, refers to Irving, a multi-billion dollar corporation, as “The Irvings,” like they are long-time friends.

Even if Vigue sincerely cares about the well-being of Maine, no one can predict what the company will be like years from now when he is no longer in charge. After a highway is built, it is there forever.

After Cianbro owns that land, it can do whatever it likes with it. It will only lead to more development.

Throughout Vigue’s address, he repeatedly painted northern Mainers as poor, desperate, unhappy people with no chance for a future, citing a lack of connectivity by highway to Canada and the Midwest as a reason why.

When I visit northern Maine, however, I see the opposite. The people here are full of life, vibrant, completely content and living in harmony with their surroundings, qualities you won’t find under a four-lane highway.

Corey Pickett


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