Free bridge could sink ferry

Cardi­gan MP Lawrence Ma­cAulay fears for fu­ture of ferry ser­vice if tolls are dropped from Con­fed­er­a­tion Bridge

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY STEVE SHAR­RATT sshar­ratt@the­ Twit­

Cardi­gan MP fears for fu­ture of ferry ser­vice if tolls are dropped from Con­fed­er­a­tion Bridge.

If the tolls came off the Con­fed­er­a­tion Bridge, it could sink the Wood Is­lands ferry to Cari­bou, N.S., warns Cardi­gan MP Lawrence Ma­cAulay.

Ma­cAulay, who has made a ca­reer out of pro­tect­ing Northum­ber­land Fer­ries, which is in his rid­ing, was re­act­ing to re­cent calls to ditch the tolls on­the Con­fed­er­a­tion Bridge, which links the Is­land to New Brunswick.

“If the bridge was sud­denly free, you wouldn’t see a car at the Wood Is­lands or Cari­bou ferry,” said Ma­cAulay, who is P.E.I.’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau’s cab­i­net.

“Let’s be very clear, if you’re go­ing tostart mak­ing things free, you have tomake other things free, and how far down the road do you go?”

P.E.I. Sen­a­tor Percy Downe raised the idea of drop­ping the tolls on the bridge just be­fore Christ­mas. The idea gained lots of sup­port. Premier Wade MacLauch­lan even kicked the tires on­the con­cept.

Downe said the Lib­eral govern­ment is not go­ing to charge tolls on­the new multi-bil­lion dol­lar Cham­plain Bridgein Mon­treal, so he ques­tioned why Is­lan­ders can’t get a sim­i­lar deal forthe Con­fed­er­a­tion Bridge.

“Is­lan­ders will have to rise up and put it on the na­tional agenda,” said the P.E.I. sen­a­tor.

The cur­rent toll on­the Con­fed­er­a­tion Bridge is $46.

While it may be nice, Ma­cAulay said cross­ing the Con­fed­er­a­tion Bridge ab­so­lutely free is a tough con­cept towrap your head around.

He said it would be dif­fi­cult to break the 35-year-old con­tract and just do away with the tolls.

“I would think some­one would have topay it out.”

But Ma­cAulay said his No. 1 con­cern is the ferry ser­vice.

“My big­gest con­cern would be the fu­ture of the Wood Is­lands ferry.”


Cardi­gan MP Lawrence Ma­cAulay says his No. 1 con­cern is still the ferry ser­vice be­tween Wood Is­lands, P.E.I., and Cari­bou, N.S.

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