FREDERICTON, N.B. - Pressuring the federal government for highway funding is a duty new Transportation Minister Percy Mockler says he will relish.His manner of doing things, however, will differ sligh...
LEADING EDGE: The opening of the Fredericton-Moncton route puts New Brunswick on the cusp of highway technology.Photo by Chris McKee
FREDERICTON, N.B. – Pressuring the federal government for highway funding is a duty new Transportation Minister Percy Mockler says he will relish.
His manner of doing things, however, will differ slightly from his predecessor, Margaret-Ann Blaney’s often ‘less-than-calm’ tactics.
“I will continue working with the same objectives, but I also believe I don’t want to use confrontation – but negotiation,” he says.
Mockler comes to the transportation department by way of the Department of Family and Community Services where he had served since March of 2000.
He believes he has been handed a great job as transport chief and will keep with the vision of the Premier Bernard Lord, in which he so strongly believes.
“All regions of New Brunswick must grow. In order to bring New Brunswick forward, people must participate,” says Mockler.
In order to be competitive within North America the need for infrastructure to enable New Brunswickers to move products to market – whether it be the U.S., Quebec, Ontario – is strong.
“Highways, transportation, roads; it’s part of our culture, it’s part of our social and daily lives, because New Brunswick is 52 per cent rural. There are basically the three main cities – Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton – the balance of the province is rural,” he insists. So travelling to move goods, driving to see neighbors, making long journeys to see children: highways are part of our culture, says Mockler.
“New Brunswickers cherish transportation.”
The recently completed Fredericton to Moncton highway is certainly a point of pride for Mockler.
“That highway built by New Brunswickers is the most modern stretch of infrastructure highway in Atlantic Canada, Canada and the U.S.,” he boasts.
He has talked to drivers in the Moncton truck stop who reported they see, ‘New Brunswick leading the way in regards to safety, progress, tourism,’ and his general feeling is one of satisfaction.
Next on his agenda is to push for Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) twinning to continue from border to border.
“The approach to building the Trans-Canada and the approach to improving our transportation infrastructure must be a partnership,” he says.
For now Mockler would simply like to see the twinning finished from Woodstock to Grand Falls and from Pokiok to Fredericton.