New Brunswick senator’s bill would force Ottawa to pay for Chignecto Isthmus project

A New Brunswick senator has introduced a bill that would declare the close land link between his province and Nova Scotia a federal responsibility.

Sen. Jim Quinn introduced the Chignecto Isthmus Levee System Act in the Senate on Tuesday.

The bill would require Ottawa to fully fund a project to strengthen the land connection against climate change threats and raise a CN rail line.

The premiers of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have called on the federal government to fund the entire project, saying Ottawa has a constitutional responsibility for interprovincial trade.

But Ottawa disagrees and wants to share the cost, which has climbed to nearly $700 million.

The Nova Scotia government has asked the province’s Court of Appeal to determine who has jurisdiction over the system that protects this vital transportation link, although it could take months before a decision is made.

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New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs praised Quinn’s decision when asked about it Tuesday.

“We believe it is the responsibility of the federal government to connect the provinces,” said Mr. Higgs. “This legislative strengthening is fundamentally important and there is logic behind it.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published September 20, 2023.

&copy 2023 The Canadian Press

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