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FREDERICTON 00410020006eew study released today reveals that the government sale of part of the Trans-Canada highway will cost New Brunswick taxpayers dearly.

The CUPE conducted study combs through more than 3,000 pages of documents concerning the sale of the Fredericton-Moncton stretch of the Trans-Canada to the Maritime Road Development Corporation. The union’s conclusions are shocking.

“This deal is a colossal rip-off,” said CUPE National President Judy Darcy. “We now know the Liberals are handing more than $2 billion to Doug Young and the MRDC. That includes lost provincial taxes the government’s agreed to waive, and the tab for MRDC’s GST payments, which the government is also picking up,” she explained.

“There are two billion reasons why this deal is nothing more than highway robbery,” said Darcy.

Through its Crown corporation, the New Brunswick Highway Corp., the 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 will save taxpayers a bundle. It will 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 a year the MRDC is getting from the government,” she added.

CUPE members have joined forces with community groups fighting the private toll highway, highlighting the issue in the ongoing by-election campaigns. The fight is part of CUPE’s national anti-privatization campaign.

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.

“New Brunswick voters told Doug Young what they thought of him last June. He obviously didn’t get the message. Let’s make sure he and his provincial cronies hear the message in the by-elections October 19.”

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada’s largest union, with more than 460,000 members, including New Brunswick’s highway workers.

For more information, contact: Karin Jordan, CUPE Communications, Fredericton Inn 506-455-1430 or 506-458-1087 - After Tuesday, October 20: 613-237-1590 ext. 267