AMHERST, NS – Cumberland North Progressive Conservative candidate Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin says MLA Terry Farrell must stand with the community regarding the Cobequid tolls instead of trying to sell them the Liberal lines.
The Amherst Chamber of Commerce is meeting with MLA Farrell this Friday to talk about the financial impact of the tolls. The province now collects higher revenues and could have paid off the deal as early as 2019, but the McNeil Liberals decided to end prepayments leaving the toll in place until 2026. The chamber also plans to discuss their disappointment in paying for additional years.
“The community expects their MLA to stand up for them,” says Smith-McCrossin. “Mr. Farrell should be telling Stephen McNeil’s government in Halifax that Cumberland County has already paid their dues and to fast track the repayment schedule. It will be a failure on his part if he comes to this meeting spouting Stephen McNeil’s lines instead of standing with us in this fight.”
Jessica Poirier, vice-president of the Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce recently told the Amherst News that they continue to hold out hope that government will get rid of the tolls before 2026. They will be sharing this with Mr. Farrell as well.
“We want to be able to show him just how much the toll has impacted business on this side of the toll in hopes he will take that information to Halifax,” Poirier told the newspaper.
Smith-McCrossin says she continues to hear from local businesses who say the toll costs are a burden they are ready to shake. She also hears from families who have to travel to access health care appointments. The tolls add yet another cost for some Cumberland County residents accessing health care.
“This just isn’t right,” she says. “The province collects enough money to fast track these payments and save us all more years of tolls. The toll alienates our county from the rest of the province and I would think the local MLA would want to help families and businesses instead of adding to their burdens. This is about doing what’s right and standing up for those who count on you.”