The government wants to hand over the OWNERSHIP and OPERATION of our stretch of the Northeastern corridor of Hwy 104 to a private for-profit corporation.
We are paying 67% more for 38 km of private highway than it would cost to build it publicly. A publicly built highway would get us all the way to the Town of Monastery for the same price. That’s another 20 km!
We don’t know how soon after a snowfall the roads have to be cleared, because the contract has not been made public.
Our hands will be tied for 30 years to one private snow removal contractor leaving us with no ability to hold them to account.
Future governments will be stuck with this bad deal!
Definition of highway robbery:
1 : robbery committed on or near a public highway usually against travelers.
2 : excessive profit or advantage derived from a business transaction.
Less twinned highway, less safe highway, for more money.
That’s highway robbery!
Don’t left private contractors drive off with our safety!
Stand up for Pictou and Antigonish Counties!
Send an email to your MLA and tell them that we deserve the safest possible, public highway like all other highways across Nova Scotia! Your message will also be sent to:
- Your MLA
- Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Lloyd Hines
- Premier Stephen McNeil
- NDP Leader Gary Burrill
- PC Leader Tim Houston
I’m writing out of concern over the Province’s plans for how the twinned highway for Pictou-Antigonish county will be built and operated.
The Province wants to build the new twinned highway as a public-private partnership (P3) through a 30-year contract with a private consortium. This method has proven more expensive here in Nova Scotia in the case of the Cobequid Pass, and is the case in other provinces too.
I want a publicly owned and publicly maintained highway – like all other highways in Nova Scotia – that ensures government accountability and a safe twinned road.
I am concerned about the real concerns with road safety and poorer snow clearance that comes with contracting out maintenance to a for-profit company.
Important details, such as how quickly after a snowfall that roads must be cleared, have not been made public. Reports by auditor generals in other provinces have found that private companies took longer to clear roads and used significantly less salt and de-icing materials than publicly maintained roads.
This leads to slippery driving conditions which poses a hazard to my family and our community.
A publicly built and maintained highway is also cost-effective. We will spend 67% more if we build this road privately. We’re getting only 38 km of road twinned when we could twin all the way to Monastery – another 20 km!
I’m writing to ask that you prioritize the safety of our community by ensuring the new twinned highway is publicly built and publicly maintained.
Pictou-Antigonish residents have worked hard to get the government to build a safe twinned Hwy 104 between Sutherland’s River and Antigonish.
But our government is planning to SELL OFF our safety to the lowest bidder.
Other provinces’ experience with private snow clearance:
- Private corporations are will be more interested in making a profit than clearing snow quickly and safely
- Private highway winter clearance has been found to take twice as long as winter clearance by public workers
- Contractors cut corners on salt and use less de-icing materials making roads icier and more dangerous
- Violations of the service level contracts are common and no repercussions
- The result will be that our stretch of the 104 will be icier and the drive time longer*
No profiting off our family’s safety!!
The only safe twinned highway is a publicly twinned highway.
* These facts are from the 2015 Ontario Auditor General Report on Winter Highway Maintenance
The government says that private highways are a proven success in NS…what they don’t tell us is what a waste of money the Cobequid Pass turned out to be.
Join us at the town halls (in Antigonish and New Glasgow) to hear how much was wasted on Cobequid Highway. We could have more kms of twinned highway for less.
That’s not a success story, that’s highway robbery!
There is a way to build more kms of safe twinned highways:
Build them as public highways
Come out to a town hall to discuss how the Northeastern Corridor can have a safer and longer twinned highway.
Let’s not pay more for less.