Ideas in Motion: New Brunswick Election 2020

Transport Action Atlantic is an all-volunteer, non-partisan advocacy organization. Our goal is to promote convenient, affordable and sustainable public transportation for all Atlantic Canadians. During the current New Brunswick election campaign we believe it is important – and reasonable – to ask candidates of all political persuasion where they stand on the issues we believe are important to the province and its future.

We are pleased to publish these questions, under the common theme Ideas in Motion. We encourage you to read and discuss them. If you agree with us that they merit attention as critical campaign issues, please share them and encourage others to join the cause as well. Don’t miss this opportunity!

New Brunswick Election Issues 2020 

Municipal transit:

New Brunswick’s municipal transit systems are facing a critical cash shortage, resulting from plummeting revenues and additional costs arising from COVID-19.  There is federal assistance available on a shared-cost basis under Ottawa’s “Safe Restart” program, but the Province has so far declined to participate. Ask your candidates where they stand on public transit for New Brunswick cities – and on provincial support for transportation services to rural residents as well.

Campobello ferry:

Campobello Island is part of New Brunswick, but the only year-round access residents have to the rest of Canada is via a bridge to Maine and a one-hour drive through American territory. A seasonal ferry through Deer Island operates only for a short period each summer. For the rest of the year, Campobello residents must endure increasingly hostile scrutiny from US border officials, and have their mail routinely opened for inspection. Ask your candidates if they believe this to be a matter of national sovereignty – one that requires urgent federal-provincial co-operation to find a solution.

CN Newcastle subdivision:

In 2014 the Province of New Brunswick and CN reached an agreement for rehabilitation of the deteriorated Newcastle Subdivision, which serves Campbellton, Bathurst, Miramichi and other North Shore communities. As part of the deal, CN was supposed to actively market the line to increase rail traffic and boost the economy in the area. After six years, there is little to show for the $25-million provincial investment. Ask your candidates if they believe the provincial government should be more assertive with CN – insisting that the railway live up to its obligations and encourage more effective use of rail and less demand on overburdened highways.

August 30, 2020