New Brunswick — Though the blizzards seem unrelenting, the calendar assures us that spring is in fact imminent. Temperatures will rise, snowbanks will fall and the people of the Maritimes will begin to thaw. Spring is a beginning, and for some New Brunswickers, this means that road trip season will soon be underway.
“I can’t wait to get out on the road,” said Hartland resident Tom Ouellette. “We’ve got lots of trips planned this summer, to Nova Scotia, to Québec for beer and even down south if we get the chance.” He went on to explain that by “down south” he actually just meant Maine. When asked whether he had any plans to visit Prince Edward Island, he simply laughed and said, “I’d consider taking the ferry, but that’s about it.”
Like many New Brunswickers, Ouellette is wary about crossing any uncovered bridge. A petition started by another Hartland resident, Mark Bradford, has recently been gaining public attention. The petition is to build a roof over the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island.
“It’s just not fair,” said Bradford. “I know dozens of New Brunswickers who would love to visit the Island, but can’t because they built that Jesus bridge uncovered for some reason. I just don’t understand it — who would ever want to cross a bridge without a roof overhead?”
The main arguments being made by those in favour of building a roof are that it would save money on snow removal, and that it’s “unnatural to have a bridge without a roof.” Those opposed say it’s an overwhelming waste of money and, “Why are we even listening to those in-landers? This shouldn’t be a discussion at all.”
As it stands, the petition has more than 3,000 signatures, but that’s no guarantee that change will happen. “We’ve heard about the petition, and although we’re always willing to listen to public opinion, we’re just not sure that this project will ever leave the drawing board,” said government spokesperson Kathleen Gorman. “We don’t view this as serious matter at the time — besides, it’s probably just another way to add fire to the age-old argument between New Brunswickers and Prince Edward Islanders over whose potatoes are better.”