Québec-New Brunswick trade corridor: federal assistance sought (01/12/13)

NB 1251

Dec. 13, 2001

EDMUNDSTON (CNB) - New Brunswick Transportation Minister Percy Mockler and Quebec Transportation Minister Guy Chevrette, announced today they hope to redevelop Route 185 and Route 2, with the financial participation of the federal government, to create a four-lane divided highway to facilitate trade between the two provinces. The ministers also used their meeting to sign an agreement on the harmonization of regulations dealing with the mass and dimensions of heavy vehicles.

These actions designed to make the Quebec-New Brunswick trade corridor more efficient stem from the Oct. 16 meeting at which New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord and Quebec Premier Bernard Landry agreed to strengthen co-operation ties between the two provinces.

Redevelopment of Routes 185 and 2

Mockler and Chevrette announced that an investment, summarily estimated at $600 million for Route 185 and $420 million for Route 2, was needed to build four-lane divided highways, thereby making them the main trade artery between Atlantic Canada and Quebec and Ontario. From an economic standpoint alone, more than $10 billion in trade passes through this corridor annually.

"We are asking the federal government to assume its fair share of the costs, that is, 80 per cent of the total project, since as the promoter of pan-Canadian trade, it must see that improvements are made to the section of the Trans-Canada Highway that is vital to the economic development of the East," the ministers said.

Harmonization of Mass and Dimension Regulations

Mockler and Chevrette also signed a memorandum of understanding concerning the harmonization of regulations relating to the mass and dimensions of heavy vehicles.

This major agreement covers more than 80 per cent of the articulated vehicles authorized to travel between Quebec and New Brunswick. The ministers also made a commitment to examine other issues relating to heavy vehicles in an attempt to arrive at a more comprehensive harmonization of their respective regulations.

"The agreement between New Brunswick and Quebec recognizes the advantages of improving the efficiency of our highway networks. We can cut costs to make transporters and shippers more competitive and thereby encourage the road transportation industry to use more efficient and safe vehicle configurations. The agreement therefore allows us to lower trade barriers between our two jurisdictions," the ministers said.


MEDIA CONTACTS: Tracey Burkhardt, director of communications, New Brunswick Department of Transportation, 506-453-5634; Sylvie Lemieux, Press Attachée, Office of the Québec Minister of Transportation, 418-643-6980; Maxime-Pierre Ayotte, Quebec Department of Transportation, 418-528-9251.