The federal infrastructure minister says Ottawa will consider paying at least half the cost of protecting the land link between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick against climate-related flooding.
Dominic LeBlanc, who is also the MP for the New Brunswick riding of Beausejour, said in an interview Monday he thought Nova Scotia's transport minister was joking when she recently suggested Ottawa might pay the full cost of reinforcing the Chignecto Isthmus.
LeBlanc says he told the premiers of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick at a dinner Sunday evening that each province should each accept 25 per cent of the cost of the project and Ottawa would look at providing the remaining half under various programs.
Last week, an engineering study was released that offered three options to raise 35 kilometres of dikes protecting the Chignecto Isthmus at costs ranging from $189 million to $301 million.
LeBlanc said it's yet to be determined which programs might be brought into play to define Ottawa's share.
He added that it's first up to the provinces to choose one of the three options before them and propose it to his department.
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