Highway funds a priority

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FREDERICTON, N.B. — Highway funding and a national plan for transportation will top the agenda when federal transportation ministers from the country meet in Halifax today.

According to Transportation Minister Margaret-Ann Blaney, a continued lack of funding to complete the twinning of New Brunswick’s portion of the Trans-Canada Highway will be a top priority for the province.

“Our primary concern going forward federally is (the) funding issue from the federal government,” Blaney says.

Federal Transport Minister David Collenette will be at the annual meeting and Blaney promises to question him directly on this point. As well, she says she is going to make a serious pitch for provincial representation on building a national blueprint for transportation.

“Collenette has long talked about having a blueprint for transportation in this country and it is absolutely essential — critical — that the provinces be involved in that process,” she says. “An ad hoc approach to how we get our money from the feds, the situation is like Collenette saying, ‘Maybe it’ll be in the next budget, we’re hoping that we’ll have some funding.’ You can’t plan for the future based on whether or not funding that may or may not be in place.”

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