Atlantic Road (and Water) Report

Bits and pieces of news and views collected from around the Atlantic region so you don’t have to! (Yer welcome!) 


Tansportation and Highway Safety Priorities Discussed at Meeting of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers

The Honourable John G. Abbott, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, attended a meeting of the Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety in Montreal February 22-23. Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to continue working together to ensure Canadians can benefit from safe, reliable, efficient and modern transportation infrastructure.

Ministers highlighted the impacts of climate change on transportation infrastructure throughout the country, as well as the need to increase the resiliency of infrastructure when replacing or rebuilding. The Council agreed to continue to collaborate on addressing the transportation infrastructure gaps that exist in northern and rural regions, understanding the importance of strong transportation services and infrastructure in northern, remote and rural communities.

Ministers also explored ways to strengthen supply chains and trade corridors in an effort to make life more affordable for all Canadians and support Canada’s economy, as well as enhancing transportation safety and security.

The transportation sector in Canada is facing critical labour and skills shortages resulting in disruptions in the movement of goods and people across the country. Ministers highlighted the need for a strong transportation workforce in supporting resilient supply chains. Within their transportation mandates, ministers support continued collaboration on this issue as well as working with their respective counterparts in labour-market development and skills training.

An important topic of discussion at the meeting for residents of Newfoundland and Labrador is the changing environment in the air transportation sector, including the proposed changes to the Air Passenger Protection Regulations under the Canada Transportation Act, and their impact on connectivity. This matter was also recently addressed at the Council of Atlantic Premiers meeting in January. Minister Abbott reiterated that these potential changes do not recognize the issues that are associated with flight availability and frequency in smaller market centres such as Atlantic Canada and could hinder efforts to add capacity.

Ministers also continued the dialogue with Indigenous Peoples. They agreed to ongoing engagement with their respective Indigenous partners to better understand the transportation challenges faced by Indigenous Peoples in Canada and take responsive actions whenever possible and appropriate. Ministers also encouraged the federal minister to report back on progress achieved.

“Connecting our country and our communities is essential, and modern, reliable infrastructure is necessary for the movement of both goods and people from coast to coast. Meetings like this one are critical to our collective efforts to ensure safe and reliable transportation networks, as well as finding ways to work together to tackle challenges that are facing the transportation sector in every province and territory. I was particularly pleased with the collaborative commitment to address transportation concerns facing our northern, remote and rural communities such as those in northern Labrador,” said the Honourable John G. Abbott, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure


Spring weight restrictions for roads

Spring weight restrictions for truck traffic took effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 4, in southern New Brunswick, and at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 11, in northern New Brunswick. Restrictions will continue until Sunday, May 12, in southern New Brunswick and Sunday, May 19, in northern New Brunswick.

“These weight limits are put in place each spring to protect our road infrastructure from damage during the annual frost-and-thaw cycle,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Richard Ames. “We provide this notice to the trucking community so they may prepare to reduce their loads or plan for alternate routes during this period.”

The duration of the restriction period is determined by monitoring weather conditions and tracking the progress of the thaw, using sensors located around the province. The dates are dependent upon weather conditions and are subject to change.

“I would like to thank members of industry for their co-operation and patience each year while these restrictions are in place,” said Ames.

For the purpose of these restrictions, northern New Brunswick includes:

  • all areas within the counties of Northumberland, Gloucester, Restigouche, Madawaska and Victoria
  • the portion of Route 108 within York County
  • the portion of Gordon Vale Road and Holtville Road within York County
  • the portion of Route 123 within Sunbury County and Queens County
  • the portion of Bloomfield Ridge Road between Holtville Road and Route 625
  • the portion of Route 625 between Gordon Vale Road and Route 8



New green ferry service between Bedford and Halifax

People who live in and around the Halifax area will have a new, environmentally friendly, high-speed ferry service for travel between Bedford and downtown Halifax.

The Province, along with the federal government and Halifax Regional Municipality, announced March 4, a joint investment to build the Mill Cove Ferry Service, which will include five electric ferries, two terminals and a maintenance facility.

“This project addresses road traffic in the area and helps us plan for future population growth,” said Environment and Climate Change Minister Timothy Halman, on behalf of Public Works Minister Kim Masland. “The new ferry route will also encourage people to use public transportation and help us meet our climate change goals by using fast zero-emission electric ferries.”

The new ferry terminals will be net-zero – one at Mill Cove, and the other will replace the aging Halifax ferry terminal. A bridge will also be built over the CN rail line in Bedford to connect buses, cars, pedestrians and cyclists to the Mill Cove terminal.

This project aligns with the Joint Regional Transportation Agency’s Regional Transportation Plan. The agency is taking a regional approach to growth by looking at the safe, efficient and co-ordinated movement of people and goods.

The Province will contribute $65 million, the federal government is investing $155.7 million and Halifax Regional Municipality will provide more than $38 million.

“Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone in our commitment to helping Nova Scotians get where they need to go quickly and sustainably. By investing in state-of-the-art net-zero ferry terminals and zero-emission electric ferries, we’re not just enhancing connectivity; we’re paving the way for a cleaner, greener future. The Halifax Transit Mill Cove Ferry Service is a direct response to the priorities that the people of Halifax West have raised with me. It’s going to get more people out of traffic and put less pollution into our air,” said Lena Metlege Diab, Member of Parliament for Halifax West, on behalf of Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities


Federal and provincial governments invest in roads improvement in Prince Edward Island

Improvements to local roads will benefit Islanders and their businesses, with work taking place thanks to the combined investment of more than $21.4 million from the federal and Prince Edward Island governments. 

Announced by Minister Lawrence MacAulay, Member of Parliament Heath MacDonald, Minister Ernie Hudson, and Chief Roderick W. Gould, four projects will extend the life of local roads and help connect the communities.

Investing in modern transportation infrastructure is critical to connecting communities, helping businesses move their goods to customer markets, and building a strong economy for all Canadians.

The projects in Kings County, Queens County and Prince County consist of upgrades to approximately 149 kilometres of roads. Work will include asphalt resurfacing to smooth out the roads quality and support the needs of growing communities. This investment will provide better roadways to farms, fishing harbours, processing plants, tourist destinations and rural communities that contribute to the economic success of the province. 

The Abegweit First Nation Route 2 Highway Upgrades project consists of upgrades and support infrastructure along Route 2, with a reduced speed limit to encourage lower vehicle speeds that will enhance safety for pedestrians and cyclists within the community.

“Here in PEI, we depend on our roads every day – from driving our kids to school, to folks going to work, and getting our goods to market. Investing in road infrastructure is vital to ensure that we meet those demands, maintain the quality of our roads, and ensure the safety of Islanders,” said The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

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