HALIFAX, N.S. — The Nova Scotia opposition says Transportation Minister Ron Russell has broken a campaign pledge to twin Hwy. 101 with or without federal funding.
Russell rolled out plans for the twinning earlier this week, but explained the extent of the construction hinges on the federal government fronting $5 million.
“We fully expect Nova Scotia to get its fair share of this funding, and have already begun the process of initiating discussions with our federal counterparts,” Russell explained in the Nova Scotia legislature.
Ottawa has promised $30 million to fund emergency roadwork in Canada; it is an advance on $485 million earmarked for roadwork but only starting next year.
Russell says he will match Ottawa dollar for dollar up to $5 million this year, but no more.
Hwy. 101 is part of the Trans-Canada Hwy.
“If we get $5 we’ll spend $5, but I mean seriously,” Russell said. “I expect to get close to $5 million.”
Liberal transportation critic Russell MacKinnon says he expects Nova Scotia will get just $1 million from Ottawa this year.
MacKinnon is critical of Russell for, as he says, artificially inflated the expectations of people who live along the highway.
Russell in the 1999 provincial election said he would twin the highway, the deadliest in Nova Scotia, regardless of support from Ottawa.