FREDERICTON (GNB) – Officials with the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia governments are continuing to collaborate on how to best protect the Chignecto Isthmus, the sole land bridge joining mainland New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, from the impact of climate change.

“We recognize that the Chignecto Isthmus is a significant trade corridor and how crucial it is on a national scale,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Jeff Carr. “We are committed to finding the right solution to protect the corridor for many years to come. But we cannot do it alone.”

The Chignecto Isthmus is the route for about $50 million worth of trade each day.

“This infrastructure is not just important to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, it is critical for the entire country. If we lose the isthmus to a climate change disaster, the impact will be severe,” said Nova Scotia Agriculture Minister Greg Morrow. “I wish the solution was as simple as putting a band aid on it, but it’s not. It’s complicated, it’s urgent, and we need the federal government to treat it with the importance it deserves.”

Morrow spoke on behalf of Public Works Minister Kim Masland.

The most recent face-to-face meeting with staff from New Brunswick’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure and Nova Scotia’s Department of Public Works over the past two days, included ongoing discussions about securing adequate funding from the federal government.

“We want the federal government to be a majority, lion's-share stakeholder in funding this project, because neither province can afford to foot the bill,” said Carr. “This piece of infrastructure is of national interest. We know that time is of the essence, and we are considering the proposed options currently on the table. We are absolutely committed to seeing this go through as quickly as possible because I too see the urgency and how important this land crossing is to all of us.”

Both provinces are pressing for the federal government to carry more than a 50 per cent share of the cost.

“Our government feels the federal government should consider funding the project the same way it funded the Confederation Bridge, which links this province to Prince Edward Island,” said Carr. “That project was mostly paid for by Ottawa.”