SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Federal Transportation Minister, David Collenette, will be busy listening to New Brunswickers when he visits the province today.
Collenette is scheduled to deliver the keynote address for a Saint John Board of Trade luncheon, but he’ll be doing a fair amount of talking behind closed doors while he’s in the province with people looking for help from Ottawa.
Provincial Transportation Minister, Paul Robichaud, will chat with Collenette for 30 to 45 minutes this morning. Transportation spokesman, Gary Toft, would only say the two will discuss items of mutual interest.
Those items will surely include funding for improvements to Routes 11 and 17 and a third border crossing between St. Stephen, N.B. and Calais, Me.
Premier Bernard Lord pledged $90 million to upgrade Routes 11 and 17. Route 11 is the main artery connecting the Acadian Peninsula and Bathurst with southern New Brunswick. Route 17 runs between Campbellton and the Trans-Canada Highway in St. Leonard and is considered a vital transportation link for the area’s lumber industry.
Robichaud will also likely talk to his federal counterpart about matching funds for a third border crossing linking St. Stephen and Calais. Supporters of the third crossing say heavy traffic is leading to long waits at the existing crossings.
According to Collenette’s spokesperson, he has no announcements planned for Saint John. But he will be making an announcement at the Moncton Airport later in the day relating to the Transport Canada facilities on site.
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