Province awaits word on tolls

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FREDERICTON, N.B. – A decision on whether to remove the tolls from a four-lane highway linking Fredericton and Moncton is close, but not final. New Brunswick’s Premier Bernard Lord told the provincial legislature that he expects to make an announcement any day.

As part of his election campaign, Lord promised to remove the tolls within 200 days of taking office, and that deadline expired in January.

“We’re not commenting on it right now,” Sharon Pond of Maritime Road Development Corp. (the toll road’s private operator) told local media.

Pond said that in December, an agreement in principle was negotiated between MRDC and the province to remove the tolls, but negotiations were yet to be finalized.

“We have every assurance that he is going to remove them, and we’ll hold him to that promise,” says Ralph Boyd, president of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association. “It’s just a delay of paperwork and a matter of timing.

“I would think Bernard Lord and his party would want to live up to his promises … and it was probably the most notable of his promises.” n

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