McNeil Liberals break election promise, will keep Cobequid Pass tolls until 2026

July 27, 2017 at 12:36 pm

The Cobequid Pass tolls were previously scheduled to be removed in 2019.

SPRINGHILL, NS – Cumberland South MLA Jamie Baillie and Cumberland North MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin are demanding the McNeil Liberals come clean about when tolls on the Cobequid Pass will finally be removed.

Public Accounts documents released today revealed the projected date for the removal of tolls is 2026. This is a far cry from the Liberals’ campaign promises.

“Stephen McNeil must come clean and tell residents of Cumberland County when he will get rid of the Cobequid Pass tolls,” says Baillie. “Families and business-owners have been burdened by this unfair toll for long enough. They deserve to know the truth about when it will be removed.”

Over the years, Stephen McNeil’s government has flip-flopped on this issue:

  • In 2015, the Cobequid Pass was set for repayment in 2019.

  • In 2016, the McNeil Liberals said they were extending the project life from 2019 to 2026.

  • In 2017, after intense criticism from Baillie and Smith-McCrossin, the McNeil Liberals backtracked and promised the tolls would come off in 2019.

  • In the 2017 Liberal Platform, the McNeil Liberals said they would remove the tolls when the bonds are paid off, projected for 2019.

  • Today’s Public Accounts report says again that tolls will cease upon complete payment of all costs, which is projected for 2026.

“Stephen McNeil is chronically misleading Nova Scotians on this issue,” says Baillie. “It is time for him to be honest with Cumberland County residents and tell them, once and for all, how much longer they will be forced to pay this unjustifiable toll.”

Smith-McCrossin adds that by keeping tolls on the Cobequid Pass, the McNeil Liberals are discriminating against Cumberland County residents.

“With the Liberals’ recent decision to twin highways without tolls in other parts of the province, leaving tolls on the Cobequid Pass is a slap in the face to Cumberland County residents,” says Smith-McCrossin.

Both Baillie and Smith-McCrossin say the McNeil Liberals shouldn’t be waiting until 2019 to remove the unfair toll and are calling on Stephen McNeil to remove it immediately.