05/03/2014 02:36 EDT | Updated 07/03/2014 05:59 EDT

MPs rally South Shore support against Champlain Bridge tolls

Hoang Mai and six other NDP MPs spent Saturday morning on the South Shore knocking on doors and collecting signatures for a petition against the proposed tolls on the new Champlain Bridge.

The MPs were accompanied by dozens of volunteers in efforts to rally support against the federal government’s insistence on bridge tolls.

“We’ve been hearing on the ground, people have written to us, they are really mad at the way the Conservative government has been handling the Champlain Bridge issue. It’s something that people are really angry about,” said Brossard-La Prairie MP Mai.

Most people the MPs and their supporters visited were enthusiastic about the petition, expressing concern about the additional strain tolls would have on their household budgets.

The new Champlain Bridge is supposed to be built by 2018, and federal Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel has been firm on tolls since the beginning. Prime Minister Stephen Harper reaffirmed the government’s steadfastness on the issue.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has repeatedly made his displeasure with the tolls proposition known.

“Every time you’re passing from one place to another, you have to pay for it? It has an economic impact. It has a major impact downtown, because if those people will say ‘Instead of paying, I’m going to stay on the South Shore.’ That’s a problem,” Coderre said in January.

“It's in our interest to make sure that we make them see the light about what's the consequences of having a toll booth.”

Mai said he will present the petition to the House of Commons in the coming weeks.