Toll talk: N.S. government consulting communities on cost of twinning highways
The Nova Scotia government will be taking tolls to residents over the next six weeks, with public consultations taking place in a dozen communities across the province.
The sessions will explain how highways can be twinned sooner using tolls and look for feedback.
“We are going to compile those responses, look at what information we have and then make our best decision on behalf of Nova Scotians,” said Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan.
Windsor Mayor Anna Allen is welcoming the discussion in her town.
“Can't happen soon enough. We've had more fatalities,” said Allen. “If roads are tolled there is some guarantee for maintenance, some guarantee that they'll be in good shape and some guarantee they'll be there for a long time.”
Government is estimating it will cost $2 billion to twin eight sections of highway across Nova Scotia. Now the province has to decide if a user pay system is the best way to get the job done.
Kevin Lacey of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says drivers already pay enough at the pumps.
“This road toll is yet another tax and burden on families that are already struggling to make ends meet,” he said.
Bruce Hetherington, whose son died in a motor vehicle crash, says twinned highways should be a priority.
“You are travelling at 100 kilometres an hour with three feet between you. That is unsafe. My son died. If it had been a divided highway he wouldn't have died,” he said. “The province has to twin the highways.”
The province will release more detail about the cost of tolls next week.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelland Sundahl.