Monday, 1 February 2016

Confederation Bridge taking a toll on Island travellers
By Samantha Steele
Jan. 29, 2016

Breanna MacKinnon is a third year Automotive Technology student. Each weekend she travels to Tidnish, Nova Scotia to visit her boyfriend.

Though many Islanders enjoy spending their time on the ‘gentle island’, a lot of starting to travel off island for recreational and personal needs.

In January, the fee for a 2-axle vehicle was raised fifty cents. MacKinnon now has to pay $46.50 to cross over.

“That’s a lot of money that I could be putting towards other things like my student debt,”

Jennifer Riley also has trouble fitting the toll into her budget while traveling.

The Holland College business student only travels once a month but that’s more than enough for her.

The recent increase has her questioning why we even have the bridge toll to begin with.

“Forty-six dollars is an awful lot of money to ask an Islander who lives here to pay just to leave sometimes just for a day.” Said Riley.
Sen. Percy Downe explained the financial deals made prior to bridge construction.
The bridge was made to last 100 years, the contract was for 35 years and the arrangement with the bridge company was that they would get 100 per cent of the tolls plus the yearly subsidy from the former ferry. In 1992, that year subsidy was 42 million. So to pay for the bridge, the company will get that subsidy and the tolls.

Downe agrees that the toll should be eliminated but the national policy on toll bridges should be the same.
As an islander, I would be happy with a reduced toll, he said
“The national position, in my opinion, has to be consistent, either everybody gets no tolls or everybody pays tolls,”

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