AMHERST – Cumberland North Progressive Conservative candidate Judi Giroux is questioning the province’s stance on fuel taxes applied to mining companies.
Giroux said in a letter to Premier Darrell Dexter that a fuel rebate is available to companies elsewhere in Canada.
“This makes it more expensive to operate a mining company in Nova Scotia than it does in other provinces,” Giroux said. “When companies are choosing between locating in Nova Scotia or another provine, this puts us at a disadvantage.”
Giroux said the fuel tax is meant to help offset the cost of vehicles using public roads and highways, but mining companies don’t use public roads.
“At the Windsor salt plant mine vehicles are assembled and operated inside the mine, they never see the surface,” Giroux said. “It’s wrong to apply a fuel tax to these vehicles.”
If the tax rebate can be extended to the fishing and farming industries, she feels it should be offered to the mining industry as well.
She said mining companies account for 6,300 jobs in Nova Scotia with most of the jobs in rural communities.
“We should be encouraging the development of this industry and the resulting job potential for rural Nova Scotia,” she said.