News / Halifax

NDP says they'd give $5 million each year to commuter rail in Halifax

The party also claims if elected they'd help the municipality also get federal funds for the transit idea.

A Via Rail train in Halifax is shown.

Metro file photo

A Via Rail train in Halifax is shown.

The NDP says it’s getting on board the idea of commuter rail for the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Metro Halifax has learned that party leader Gary Burrill will make the announcement to regional council Tuesday morning, outlining his support for the much-discussed transportation idea if he was to be elected premier.

“Bringing a commuter rail to the Halifax area will not only make the city more accessible, it will take cars off the road, reduce traffic congestion and reduce our carbon footprint,” Burrill says in a statement that will be released to media after speaking to council on Tuesday.

If elected, the NDP says it will commit to partnering with HRM on commuter rail, and give $5 million annually to the operating costs.

The party says it would also work with HRM on securing federal money.

The NDP is also proposing $12 million annually to sustainable transportation in Halifax, and smaller centres.

Last August, council voted unanimously in favour of directing staff to begin negotiations with Via Rail for a commuter rail service between Windsor Junction and downtown Halifax.

Those talks are continuing with no deal struck.

All three party leaders will be speaking to council on Tuesday, after being invited to do so by Mayor Mike Savage.

Premier Stephen McNeil is speaking to Halifax regional council at 10:15 a.m., Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie will follow at 11 a.m. and then Gary Burrill gets his chance at 11:30 a.m.

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