News and views collected from around the Maritimes so you don’t have to.
Annual traffic safety awareness campaign underway
With construction season now underway, the provincial government and its industry partners are reminding motorists to slow down, heed posted speed limits, and exercise caution when driving in and around construction zones.
“New Brunswick highways are especially busy in the summer months with people travelling across the province.” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Jeff Carr. “By following road and speed reduction signs in construction zones, motorists can ensure their own safety as well as that of our workers.”
The annual campaign includes the New Brunswick Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association, WorksafeNB and the New Brunswick Construction Safety Association.
“Everyone has a role to play when it comes to safety,” said Tom McGinn, executive director of the New Brunswick Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association. “This campaign is an important annual reminder to the travelling public to respect our construction zones and construction workers. By obeying construction signage and reducing their speed, motorists can assure they are not putting someone’s life at risk.”
The campaign will include messages distributed through social media and on the radio.
Each year, hundreds of people work at summer construction projects on provincial roads. For safety reasons, speed limits are lowered in constructions zones. Drivers in New Brunswick are reminded if they get caught speeding in highway construction zones they face double the minimum fine.
Provincial Government Disagrees with Federal Clean Fuel Regulations
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has significant concerns that the Government of Canada’s proposed clean fuel regulations, which came into effect on July 1, 2023, fail to address the province’s unique geography and economy and will disproportionately cause economic harm to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and the Atlantic region as a whole.
Consequently, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is requesting that the Government of Canada delay implementation of the clean fuel regulations until a plan can be developed to address the disproportionate impact of the regulations on Atlantic Canadians, as expressed by the Council of Atlantic Premiers on May 25, 2023 and reiterated on June 12, 2023 and again on June 23, 2023.
The Provincial Government is calling on the Government of Canada to provide clarity as to how the clean fuel regulations will impact the price of gasoline and diesel. The Parliamentary Budget Officer has found that these regulations will result in increased costs for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians by up to 17 cents per litre for gasoline and 16 cents per litre for diesel by 2030. This is on top of the federal carbon tax imposed on a number of products including gasoline, diesel, and home heating fuel.
While the Provincial Government is aligned with the Government of Canada’s commitment to mitigating the impacts of climate change and becoming net-zero carbon emitting by 2050, imposing clean fuel regulations will further burden residents and businesses experiencing the pressures of a higher cost of living. These regulations will require suppliers to lower the carbon intensity of gasoline and diesel fuels, resulting in increased costs for consumers.
The fundamental issues in Newfoundland and Labrador include its geography and associated logistical challenges, energy security constraints, and limited transportation options. When the current renewable fuels regulations came into force (now being replaced by the clean fuel regulations), the Government of Canada acknowledged the province’s unique situation and exempted it from those regulations. The reasons for this original exemption have not changed.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has addressed its concerns repeatedly with the Government of Canada.
Information regarding the Government of Canada’s clean fuel regulations, established under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, are available here.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to addressing climate change, and has implemented a number of climate change initiatives to lower greenhouse gas emissions, as outlined in the backgrounder below.
“While the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador continues to support measures and progress toward net zero carbon emissions, we are concerned with the cumulative cost impacts and investment uncertainty associated with introducing multiple federal regulations and measures at the same time. Marine Atlantic, for example, could see an impact of up to $8 million a year in additional costs resulting from the implementation of both carbon tax and clean fuel regulations, which will result in increased costs for customers and commercial traffic,” said the Honourable Andrew Parsons, KC, Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology
Government Supports Public Transportation Across Province
People across Nova Scotia will have better service to get where they need to go, when they need to go there, with provincial funding for public transportation services.
The government is investing more than $5.1 million to help municipalities and community organizations purchase vehicles, support operations and planning and make transportation more accessible.
Public transit and community transportation organizations provide an invaluable service by bringing people together and making our communities better places to live said Public Works Minister Kim Masland. “Our job to make sure they have what they need to provide Nova Scotians with the options they need to get to work, attend medical appointments, get groceries, go to school or participate in community activities.
Twenty-nine municipalities and community organizations across the province will receive funding this fiscal year.
“Pictou County Transit returned to service after a 25-year hiatus thanks to capital and operational grants from the Province of Nova Scotia, and support from the towns of Stellarton and New Glasgow. The service is proving extremely popular, and we are also looking at possible expansion to other communities. This support will help ensure Pictou County Transit is able to operate sustainably well into the future,” said Danny MacGillivray, Executive Director, CHAD Transit
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Off-highway vehicle access expands in Evangeline
The off-highway vehicle pilot project is expanding in the Evangeline region to improve safe travel between designated trails.
ATVs will have access to more portions of provincial highways to link sections of the PEI ATV Federation’s trail system in Evangeline.
“This additional 32 kilometers of access in Evangeline is another step to helping ATV riders travel safely through their designated trail system. I am pleased to collaborate with the PEI ATV Federation on safe and legal trail access. We are also examining the Federation’s proposal on annual ATV registrations.”
– Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Ernie Hudson
The pilot project to allow ATVs on low traffic, unpaved roads started in 2021 with the intent to use these sections of roads as connectors to current and future ATV trails across the province. The PEI ATV Federation makes recommendations on which roads to allow ATV riders to connect to their existing trails. The roads are then assessed by government to ensure there are no environmental, maintenance or safety concerns.
Adding the 32 kilometers of access in Evangeline brings the total road access to 46 kilometers. New signage will identify the portion of the highway that permits off-highway vehicles. ATV access will be allowed when the new routes are published in the Royal Gazette on Saturday, June 17, 2023.
In the pilot road areas, off-highway vehicles must follow the same rules as cars, trucks and other motorized vehicles as set out in the Highway Traffic Act and its regulations, unless otherwise stated in the Off-Highway Vehicle Act regulations.