HALIFAX — A New Brunswick senator has introduced a bill that would declare the narrow land link between his province and Nova Scotia a federal responsibility.
Sen. Jim Quinn introduced the Chignecto Isthmus Dykeland System Act in the Senate on Tuesday.
The bill would require Ottawa to fully finance a project aimed at strengthening the land link from climate change-related threats and raising a CN rail line.
The premiers of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have asked the federal government to fund the entire project, saying Ottawa has the constitutional responsibility for interprovincial trade.
But Ottawa disagrees and wants to share the cost, which has ballooned to nearly $700 million.
The Nova Scotia government has asked the province's Court of Appeal to determine who has jurisdiction over the system that protects the vital transportation link, although it could be months before a decision.
New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs welcomed Quinn's move when asked about it on Tuesday.
"We believe this is a federal responsibility to connect provinces," Higgs said. "This legislative reinforcement is fundamentally important and there's logic behind it."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 20, 2023.
The Canadian Press