HALIFAX, N.S. — Atlantic Canada transportation ministers say a renewed partnership with the federal government is necessary in developing transportation policy.
The ministers say regional input is key, especially on issues such as the national transportation policy, the need for highway funding and matters involving strategic transportation infrastructure.
Atlantic Canadians have a right to expect that governments at all levels are working hand-in-hand on issues that affect trade competitiveness, agreed the ministers. They also say that long-term, guaranteed federal funding for highway improvements is critical if the arterial highway network is to be maintained. As well, they added that a larger share of the $4 billion in fuel taxes the government collects should be returned to the region.
The Atlantic ministers maintain that the federal government’s neglect has contributed to the obvious decline in the condition of roads throughout Canada, but say the recent funding announcement for twinning the Trans-Canada Highway in New Brunswick is a good start and a positive sign of what lies ahead.
The Atlantic provinces continue to make progress on changes that will cut red tape and help commercial truck traffic flow more smoothly throughout the region. As a result, Atlantic Canada will be connected to the rest of North America by a safe and efficient four-lane corridor within five years, and this will enable goods and services to move through the region more efficiently.
A meeting of Atlantic transportation ministers and their federal counterpart, David Collenette, will be held in Winnipeg on Sept. 20.
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