Premier urges Quebec to twin highway

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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Premier Bernard Lord hopes to get a commitment from Quebec to twin its portion of the highway linking Quebec to New Brunswick.

During an interview at the 44th annual Premiers’ Conference in Charlottetown, Lord said he mentioned the dangerous stretch of highway while speaking to recently elected Quebec Premier, Jean Charest, and planned to bring it up during another meeting later in the day.

Lord is encouraging Quebec to seek federal funding similar to New Brunswick, which, last fall brokered a $400-million deal with the federal government to twin 130 kilometres of highway between Fredericton and the Quebec border.

New Brunswick Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Percy Mockler said the province has offered Quebec its expertise in the Transportation and Intergovernmental Affairs departments to help it broker a funding deal with the federal government.

Mockler said he discussed the twinning project during a conference call Wednesday with Quebec Transportation Minister Yvon Marcoux and also brought up the issue with Claude Bechard, another Quebec cabinet minister whose Kamouraska-Temiscouta riding encompasses most of the highway.

The Edmundston-area MLA, who was previously transport minister, said he wants to see the highway twinning completed as soon as possible since it will not only improve public safety, but also expedite the flow of goods to and from the province.

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