CUMBERLAND: A re-elected Nova Scotia Liberal government will eliminate tolls for non-commercial Nova Scotia drivers on the Cobequid Pass on October 1, 2021.
Nova Scotia Liberal leader Iain Rankin joined Bill Casey, Liberal candidate for Cumberland North, for the July 20 announcement.
This initiative will make it easier for Nova Scotians to move around the province and better connect residents of Cumberland County with the rest of the province.
It will also make life more affordable for Nova Scotians, and the highway safer for drivers. No jobs will be lost as a result of the removal of tolls.
“Affordable regional travel is critical to our economy and connects us to people who we care about,” said Liberal leader Rankin. “During the third wave, Nova Scotians worked hard to keep each other safe. It was a particularly tough time for people near the New Brunswick border.
“Removing tolls on the Cobequid Pass is one way to make it easier for Nova Scotians to reconnect with the relationships that matter most to them.”
Eliminating tolls now on non-commercial Nova Scotia vehicles is possible because of higher-than-expected traffic volumes leading up to the pandemic that led to increased revenues.
The announcement builds on the removal of intra-provincial ferry fees recently announced by the Rankin government.
Mr. Rankin also announced that a Liberal government would increase driver safety by building rest stations and maintenance facilities at the midpoint on both sides of Highway 104.
Drivers from outside Nova Scotia and truck drivers will continue to pay tolls. The revenue collected will be used for ongoing highway maintenance, and for the rest stops.
Mr. Casey, meanwhile, has been a long-time champion of eliminating the tolls at the Cobequid Pass.
“Since the highway was opened in 1997, Nova Scotians, particularly those in communities in Cumberland County, have paid tolls to secure this critical piece of our transportation network.,” said Mr. Casey. “Eliminating tolls makes life more affordable for us and strengthens our region’s connection with the rest of the province.”
The Nova Scotia Liberal Party’s Cobequid Pass plan will:
• Make it more affordable for Nova Scotians to travel out of and around the province by eliminating tolls for non-commercial vehicles with Nova Scotia license plates.
• Create additional safety at the midpoint of the highway by investing in new rest areas on each side of the road and additional space for maintenance and snow removal equipment.
• Ensure the long-term sustainability of highway repairs and improvements by leaving tolls in place for out-of-province and commercial vehicles and truck drivers.
• Support quality employment for Nova Scotians by maintaining existing jobs at the toll plaza.
After touring the Cumberland area, Rankin made a visit to Stewiacke and the Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley riding.