P.E.I. woman creates petition against Confederation Bridge tolls

A P.E.I. woman has started an online petition calling for the elimination or discount of the Confederation Bridge toll for Islanders.

Taylor MacDougall's petition has gathered more than 6,600 signatures

While it’s free to take the bridge to P.E.I., it costs $45.50 for cars to leave the Island on the bridge. (CBC)

A P.E.I. woman has started an online petition calling for the elimination or discount of the Confederation Bridge toll for Islanders.

While it's free to take the bridge to P.E.I., it costs $45.50 for cars to leave the Island on the bridge.

Taylor MacDougall says she started the petition because she's frustrated with having to pay every time she visits her father and other family in New Brunswick.

She says the toll is also a problem for Islanders who need to travel for medical reasons.

"Islanders going through an already difficult and sometimes expensive time shouldn't have to worry about forking out the extra money to cross the bridge too," said MacDougall.

MacDougall believes tourists paying the toll and provincial taxes should be enough to cover the costs of the bridge.

So far, more than 6,600 people have signed the petition.

Premier says province has no power over tolls

MacDougall plans on sending the petition to Premier Wade MacLauchlan once she gets as many signatures as she can.

"He may not be able to do anything about it because I've been told ... the actual people that built the bridge have some sort of a contract, so maybe the premier and the company could kind of make it a deal to at least have a discount for Island residents until their contract is up," she said.

MacLauchlan says the toll is something the provincial government can't just remove or reduce. He says how the bridge is run and financed involves a complex agreement between the federal government and bondholders.

No one was available for comment from Strait Crossing Bridge Limited, the company responsible for privately managing, maintaining and operating the Confederation Bridge until 2032. At that point, operations will be transferred to the federal government.

Only petitions in writing are accepted by the P.E.I. Legislative Assembly.

Question of the day:Should the toll on Confederation Bridge be dropped for Prince Edward Islanders?

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