Same tolls, but new ownership for Confederation Bridge operators

·2 min read
Confederation Bridge toll revenues were $46 million Cdn in 2019, according to Vinci Concessions.  (Shane Hennessey/CBC - image credit)
Confederation Bridge toll revenues were $46 million Cdn in 2019, according to Vinci Concessions. (Shane Hennessey/CBC - image credit)

A change in ownership of the company that manages the Confederation Bridge won't have an impact on the day-to-day operation or the toll structure, says the general manager of Strait Crossing Bridge Ltd.

The federal government owns the 12.9-kilometre bridge linking P.E.I to Canada's mainland, and it is run by Strait Crossing through an agreement that expires in 2032.

On Thursday, Vinci Concessions Canada Inc. announced it signed an agreement to own 85 per cent of the shares in Strait Crossing Development Inc., the parent company of Strait Crossing Bridge Ltd.

Final approvals are still required.

Vinci has been a shareholder of SCDI since the bridge was built in the 1990s. It owned 20 per cent of the company before buying the 65 per cent stake owned by OMERS Infrastructure.

"Terms of operations, it doesn't change anything," Michel Le Chasseur, general manager of Strait Crossing Bridge Ltd.

"The people at the table from Vinci are the same that have been there for several years. So like all companies, there is turnover, but it's quite a stable relationship."

Toll revenues in 2019 were about $46 million, according to a news release from Vinci.

The federal government also provides an annual subsidy to Strait Crossing of around $70 million in recent years.

Strait Crossing says there are no plans to reduce tolls, which are currently $50.25 for a two-axle car. Tolls are only paid when going from Prince Edward Island to New Brunswick.

P.E.I. Sen. Percy Downe, who has lobbied for years to reduce or eliminate the toll, said given the revenues, it should cost less to cross.

"It would be less of a financial burden for people taking their children to medical appointments, it would be less of a burden for those who have to travel for work and it certainly would reduce the tourism cost."

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