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A new CUPE study reveals just how dearly the sale of part of the Trans-Canada highway will cost New Brunswick taxpayers.

“This deal is a colossal rip-off,” said National President Judy Darcy in a Fredericton news conference. “There are two billion reasons why this deal is nothing more than highway robbery,” said Darcy.

CUPE research representative Raymond Leger combed through more than 3,000 pages of documents concerning the sale of the Fredericton-Moncton stretch of the Trans-Canada to the Maritime Roads Development Corporation (MRDC). The conclusions of his research are shocking.

Through a Crown corporation, the New Brunswick government will pay MRDC more than $2 billion in leasing, maintenance and inspection costs in addition to covering the corporation’s GST and provincial taxes. And that’s after factoring in toll revenues MRDC will collect and turn over to the province.

“Keeping the highway public would save taxpayers a bundle. It would also save public sector highway workers’ jobs, members of CUPE 1190. Our members can maintain the highway for much less than the $7 million plus the MRDC is getting each year from the government,” Darcy added.

MRDC is a front for profit-hungry multinationals that are devouring public services around the world. They’re trying to set up shop here, aided and abetted by the Liberals. Today we’re blowing the whistle on their cozy deal,” said Darcy.