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Nova Scotia considers lifting toll charge for some motorists at Cobequid Pass

Click to play video: 'Out-of-province drivers and truckers may still have to pay Cobequid Pass tolls' Out-of-province drivers and truckers may still have to pay Cobequid Pass tolls
WATCH: The toll between New Brunswick and Halifax will be removed in 2019. It was put in place 20 years ago, designed as a public-private partnership and the bill for the highway is almost paid off. But as Morganne Campbell reports, out-of-province drivers and truckers may still have to cough up some cash at the Cobequid Pass – Jan 22, 2018

The Nova Scotia provincial government is considering removing the tolls at the Cobequid Pass in 2019 but it’s possible not all traffic will be exempt from the charge.

The province is considering lifting the tolls for Nova Scotian motorists, but not commercial and out-of-province traffic.  The toll was put in place over 20 years ago, designed as a public-private partnership the bill is almost paid off.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia unlikely to remove all tolls on Cobequid Pass: minister

“Another year or so staff will be analyzing our options, legislation doesn’t compel us to lift the toll and we will lift in the best interest of the taxpayers of Nova Scotia,” said Lloyd Hines, Nova Scotia’s Transportation Minister.

The move prompted Jean-Marc Picard, executive director of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, to reach out to Hines, requesting the industry be consulted prior to any decision making.

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“It’s a bit disappointing to hear that we might be the only industry that’s going to continue to pay for it. There’s not really a whole lot of rational behind it. They were there for a reason and that reason is coming to an end,” Picard said.

READ MORE: Details of toll removal on Nova Scotia highway still being considered: officials

Independent truck drivers are concerned about a potential exemption as well. Truckers who own their own rigs pay thousands alone in provincial fuel taxes and tolls.

“We pay for every kilometer we drive in Nova Scotia,” said Art Jones, a hauler for FedEx. “We also pay tolls, so we’re being double taxed now.”

A decision either way is still around the bend and could take at least a year.

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