News Release Archive

Premier Russell MacLellan announced today a proposal that would
provide toll discounts to frequent users of the Cobequid Pass. 

Acting on recommendations from an ad hoc committee of MLAs formed
to determine how to lessen the impact of highway tolls on Nova
Scotians, the proposal provides for discounts of 50 per cent for
cars and $0.50 per axle on trucks. This means drivers would now
pay $1.50 per car and $1.50 per axle for heavy trucks.

"During my campaign for the party leadership I made a commitment
to the people of northern Nova Scotia that I would try and do
something to address their concerns surrounding the toll
highway," Premier MacLellan said. "At the same time, I was aware
of the need for continued fiscal probity on behalf of all Nova

"And in my judgment the proposal we have developed offers a
solution that is fair and equitable for all Nova Scotians."

Don Downe, Minister of Transportation and Public Works, led the
ad hoc committee and made the final recommendations to the

"I'm pleased that we've found a solution that cuts the toll in
half for motorists who use the highway frequently and also
addresses truckers' needs to remain as competitive as possible,"
said Mr. Downe. "But let's remember that the safety has always
been our main priority."

The premier's proposal is being reviewed by Newcourt Credit
Group, the financial institution responsible for underwriting
$60.9 million of private-sector money used to build the highway,
and Atlantic Highways Corp., the partner in charge of
construction and management of the toll operation. 

Premier MacLellan said operating details, such as the methodology
of the costing for the discounting regime, are being worked out
with the private-sector partners and would be announced later in
September by Mr. Downe. 

"I am not in favour of tolls," said Premier MacLellan. "But after
carefully considering all the options, I believe this proposal,
if implemented, will provide a fair, convenient and safe
alternative for frequent and commercial users --while at the same
time protecting the fiscal integrity of the province's finances."

Contact: Peter MacLellan or Kim Jardine
         Premier's Office

         Chris Welner
         Transportation and Public Works

ngr                  August 29, 1997 - 10:30 am