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
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 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.
New Brunswick releases report and recommendations on inclusive and sustainable transportation
– by Yves Bourgeois
“A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It’s where the rich use public transport.”
– Enrique Penalosa, former Mayor of Bogota
New Brunswick citizens and policymakers need to pivot their thinking significantly from surfaces to services, putting “access” first and ratcheting up shared transportation services investments in balance with physical transportation infrastructure. This fundamental shift from roads and highways is crucial if the province hopes not only to reduce poverty, but also to improve population growth, physical health, job creation and the environment. This is the overarching theme of the report and recommendations on inclusive and sustainable mobility released on 11 December 2017 by the New Brunswick advisory committee on Rural and urban transportation (RUTAC) struck by New Brunswick Government’s Economic and social inclusion corporation (ESIC). http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/esic/news/news_release.2017.12.1583.html
After five years of hard work by the Southwest New Brunswick Transit Authority (SWNBTA), a twice daily bus service from southern Charlotte County to Saint John is finally posed to become a reality. On Thursday, the province of New Brunswick announced a $500,000 investment to launch the proposed bus service as a 2-year pilot project.
Here is the press release from New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure:
ST. STEPHEN (GNB) – The provincial government is investing $500,000 to help provide affordable bus transportation through a community led pilot project in southwestern New Brunswick.
“Public transportation in our regions is important to the New Brunswick economy,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “It also helps improve New Brunswickers quality of life. This community led pilot project will help residents of Charlotte County and Saint John connect. It will also ensure southwestern New Brunswick businesses have the logistical support they need to get their products to markets.”
Funding will be provided to the Southwest New Brunswick Transit Authority Inc. to establish a two-year pilot project for bus transportation between communities in Charlotte County and the city of Saint John.
“It is tremendously rewarding to see the provincial financial support that is the result of our five-year, grassroots vision to establish an integrated transportation service for Charlotte County residents,” said transit authority president Stan Choptiany. “The entire board of the Southwest New Brunswick Transit Authority, and the public in general, are greatly looking forward to the Rural Lynx-Maritime Bus service commencing this fall.”
The project calls for Rural Lynx, in association with Maritime Bus, to provide twice-daily, seven-day-a-week passenger bus and parcel service between St. Stephen and Saint John, with proposed stops in Saint Andrews, St. George and Pennfield.
“With the province’s support and the will of the local communities, Maritime Bus is looking forward to travelling the roads of southwest New Brunswick and having its passenger and parcel freight network extend to St. Stephen,” said Maritime Bus president Mike Cassidy.