Minister Hears "Respectful and Intense" Feedback At Highway Twinning Consultations

Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:34 PM

The minister of transportation and infrastructure renewal says there is no substitute when it comes to hearing public feedback.

Five of the scheduled 12 meetings on highway twinning have been held in Bridgewater, Western Shore, New Glasgow and in the Annapolis Valley.

Geoff MacLellan has appeared at each one and plans to be at all 12.

He says the feedback has been respectful but intense at times.

“I’m better for it because I understand organically what people are thinking, how it impacts their lives and what ultimately they think we should do as a province, as a government and of course as a department of transportation.”

The consultations are being used to provide information on how highways can be twinned sooner using tolls.

“Twinning highways is an added safety feature. We just don’t have the massive amount of capital to build them on our own without some form of alternative payment. Two billion dollars is just not something we have access to at this point.”

Further meetings will be held over the next two weeks in the HRM, Cape Breton and Antigonish.

He says a report will be developed by the end of March that will highlight all the data and feedback from consultations and online submissions.

Meanwhile, David Devenne, Mayor of the Town of Mahone Bay shares many of the concerns being raised.

He says government should be able to find the money without forcing citizens to pay more.

"Find the money, borrow the money. If you want to put a toll on then put a toll on every 100 series highway that's twinned in the province."

Devenne attended the meeting in Western Shore last week.

He says it's an important issue that needs to be addressed quickly.