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.
“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.
“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.
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.