OTTAWA, Ont. — Federal Labour Minister, Claudette Bradshaw, is fighting back over a $90-million controversy that is sparking fears New Brunswick’s north won’t see any new money for its crumbling highways.
Bradshaw, the Moncton-area Liberal MP who serves as the province’s voice in the federal cabinet, has sent a letter to a coalition of northern mayors insisting she never told reporters there was $90 million in new federal funding for work on Routes 11 and 17.
Bradshaw instead was only referring to the $90 million that was available under the 1998 Canada-New Brunswick Highway Improvement Program, which committed both governments to jointly funding $300 million worth of work over seven years.
She corrected herself with updated figures showing there is $77 million left unspent in the fund. That money, however, has already been allocated for other projects by the province.
David Klug, Bradshaw’s spokesman, says that if the northern highways are a priority with the provincial government, then Fredericton can explain why it has committed the money elsewhere.
“People should be asking the province where they put the money,” says Klug.
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