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Downe still calling for elimination of Bridge tolls

['Confederation Bridge. Photo special to The Guardian/Strait Crossing Bridge Ltd.']
['Confederation Bridge. Photo special to The Guardian/Strait Crossing Bridge Ltd.']

Downe tabled a report in the Senate recently supporting reasons to eliminate the tolls

SUMMERSIDE – Island Senator Percy Downe has recently tabled a report of the Parliamentary Budget Officer supporting reasons to eliminate the tolls on the Confederation Bridge.

“Cost Estimate of Tax Credit for Confederation Bridge Tolls,” was tabled on Wednesday and showed that eliminating the tolls would cost less than $17 million per year.

Wednesday’s report of the Auditor General of Canada put the cost of getting rid of tolls on the Champlain Bridge in Montreal at more than $3 billion over 30 years or $100 million per year.

“Taken together, these two reports raise a fundamental question about fairness: why the Government of Canada is prepared to spend $100 million a year to eliminate tolls on the Champlain Bridge, but refuses to spend less than $17 million per year to remove the toll on Confederation Bridge, when both bridges are owned by the Government of Canada?” said Downe.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recognized the problem with the $47 Confederation Bridge toll before a town hall meeting in Peterborough, Ont. In January 2017 when he called the cost to build and cross the bridge expensive.

Trudeau also said government would look into what could be done to ensure people would be able to “travel freely, efficiently and openly across the country at modest costs.”

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