A re-elected Liberal Government will complete the restoration of the Petitcodiac River with the construction of a new bridge, reversing decades of significant environmental damage.
In 2007, a previous Liberal Government announced a commitment to restore the Petitcodiac River, but the restoration stalled from 2010 to 2014, when members of the Alward Conservative Government, including then Finance Minister Blaine Higgs, strongly opposed the project. Liberal Leader Brian Gallant is now calling on Higgs to support the investment made and to be made to restore the Petitcodiac River.”
“A re-elected Liberal government will protect the environment and restore the Petitcodiac River. Blaine Higgs, however, as with many issues, seems to be avoiding any position,” said Gallant. “The current Conservative MLA for Riverview, and former interim leader of the Conservatives, has been a vocal opponent of the project as well. Blaine Higgs and the Conservatives need to clarify whether they support our investment in this important project or not.”
The restoration of the Petitcodiac River has had some well-known supporters over the years, including David Suzuki, who wrote about the removal of the causeway in 2010 and its environmental impact.
In 2014, the Gallant Government recommitted to the full restoration of the river and announced plans for the design and construction of a new bridge across the Petitcodiac River to replace the aging river gate structure that presently exists, investing in partnership with the federal government $61.6 million to construct the new bridge and decommission the causeway. An additional $1.9 million is being invested with the Town of Riverview to upgrade the interchange at the end of the Gunningsville Bridge to ease congestion during the causeway replacement project. Construction of the new bridge began in 2017.
“The construction of the new Moncton-Riverview bridge across the Petitcodiac River will complete the final stage of the Petitcodiac River restoration,” added Brent Mazerolle, Liberal Candidate in the riding of Riverview. “Will Blaine Higgs and the Conservatives cut this restoration project, along with his promised cuts to infrastructure investments or will he support our investment to complete the restoration of the Petitcodiac River?”
Throughout this election campaign, Gallant has announced a series of commitments aimed at protecting the environment and increasing protected natural areas and conservation areas in New Brunswick. A re-elected Liberal Government will:
- Take steps to ensure that New Brunswick embraces the clean technologies and green jobs of tomorrow while helping New Brunswick households to become more energy efficient;
- Double the province’s investments in the Low Income Energy Savings Program, going from $2 million to $4 million per year. It will also double its investment in the Energy Retrofit Program, going from $20.25 million to $40.5 million per year to make hospitals, schools, and other government buildings more energy efficient;
- Increase the amount of land in New Brunswick that is designated as protected natural area to 10 percent by 2020;
- Increase conservation areas on Crown lands by 150,000 hectares over the next five years, thereby increasing the ratio to 28 percent from 23 percent;
- Fully implement the new water strategy developed by the government in its previous mandate; and
- Maintaining the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, and the ban on the disposal of fracked wastewater into municipal systems.