Mockler to make most of transport report

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FREDERICTON, N.B. — Ottawa’s new transportation report is a “window of opportunity,” says New Brunswick’s transportation minister, Percy Mockler.

“I want to commend Mr. Collenette for bringing this document forward. I think it augers well for what we want to do in New Brunswick,” Mockler says.

He was responding to Federal Transport Minister David Collenette’s 84-page report on transportation in the country released Tuesday.

The report, entitled Straight Ahead, includes recommendations of financial support for struggling smaller airports, a call for Via Rail to consider restoring passenger service to areas such as Saint John, and Mockler intends to make sure New Brunswick borders are looked after as well.

With a committee already in place, Mockler says his department is pouring over the report to ensure New Brunswick gets its share of cash from the transportation policy.

“I think this document gives us an opportunity to look straight ahead and work with the (federal) ministry of transportation to solidify our position for strategic infrastructure for the province of New Brunswick,” he says.

Plans to twin the 18-kilometre stretch of highway between Woodstock and Houlton, Me., maintaining the bridge from St. Stephen to Calais and upgrades to Routes 11 and 17 in northern New Brunswick are some of the projects Mr. Mockler will put forward for a possible partnership with Ottawa.

Collenette and Mockler are slated to meet in April.

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