LIVERPOOL - Queens-Shelburne MLA Sterling Belliveau has added his two cents to the issue of tolls on Highway 103, and he says he’s against them.
The NDP representative says he attended a public meeting on the issue in Chester recently, and he made his concerns known.
“To me it’s, we’re anxious to listen to the community and my observation is there is very little support for toll highways, people just said it’s another way of taxing people.”
The province is considering twinning a 68 kilometer section of Highway 103 between Tantallon and Bridgewater.
To get the job done faster on what is considered a dangerous stretch of highway, tolls are being considered. The proposed toll rate would be from $4.08 to $6.81 per trip.
“The government or whoever is in position it’s all about priorities and finding money to address the most dangerous areas,” he says.
He says people in this region can’t afford to pay tolls on the Highway to get to Halifax.
“This was evident in the remarks this area here, for instance, is going to be travelling and using the tolls, and it was an additional cost whether it was commercial, it would take away from the economy and seniors travelling.”
Belliveau says he supports making the highway safer, but believes there are other ways to do it.
“You need to separate the issues, the safety of the highway, people want that addressed. You can simply identify the most dangerous areas and focus on that, twin that portion.”
The cost of twinning the highway would be about $448 million, according to the province.
According to government figures, there are an average of 60 to 70 collisions on that stretch of highway each year.
Bellieveau says more attention should be placed on enforcing speed limits and poor driving habits, rather than adding such a long toll highway.