HALIFAX - Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister Ramona Jennex is taking exception to comments made Wednesday by Cumberland South MLA Murray Scott about the border gas tax issue.
Scott accused the NDP government of already making up its mind on the controversial border issue and said it's using the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board as a "political cover" for a decision it made several months ago.
"I can guarantee you this government has not made any decisions regarding the gas border issue," Jennex said Thursday. "To tell you the truth I find it worrisome when a person in leadership makes that sort of comment."
The utility and review board held a day of hearings in Amherst on Wednesday to consider making recommendations on certain aspects of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulations as they apply to the viability of markets near the border with New Brunswick.
Jennex said the government looked at several options for levelling the playing field soon after taking office last summer, but wants to hear from the utility and review board before proceeding.
The minister said the utility and review board will make recommendations to government based on evidence presented at the public hearings and written submissions. Once government receives those recommendations, it will then act. Jennex has no timeline for when the utility and review board will make those recommendations.
During last summer's election campaign, NDP candidate Brian Skabar, who is now the MLA for Cumberland North, proposed lowering the tax on gasoline along the border to give retailers in the Amherst area the opportunity to compete with retailers in New Brunswick where gas prices are four to seven cents cheaper a litre.
Following the election, he suggested a graduated tax structure that would have the lowest tax at the border.