No change on Champlain toll talks

Photo courtesy the Canadian Press

The two sides bickering over the future Champlain bridge are no closer to an agreement on who will pay for it.

The federal government says local funding - meaning tolls - are a necessary condition to getting the bridge built.

But Quebec City and local municipal governments say downloading the cost onto them is unfair.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says replacing the Champlain depends on local funding because it is not an international or intergovernmental bridge.

Tolls, he says, were a condition to the bridge being built.

"Those conditions aren't going to change and they are the only basis on which we justify such a project that frankly we are not doing in any other part of the country."

Montreal mayor Denis Coderre said Ottawa cannot treat Montreal and Quebec City as junior partners in the project and that they need a bigger say.

"From the tolls to how you build it to how you all work together, you have to be part of the plan," Coderre says.

Stephen Harper was in Montreal to announce research funding for five projects related to Alzheimer's and austism.


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