Nova Scotia Power president Rob Bennett took the step this week of endorsing an NDP campaign plank.
The NDP loudly opposed reinstating sales tax on electricity bills in last year’s Progressive Conservative budget supported by the Liberals. They’ve been promising to remove it if elected.
In a conference call to analysts Monday, Bennett said removing the tax “would be helpful for our business.”
Bennett clarified yesterday, saying he has no official position on any party’s platform or tax scheme. But by then the Liberals had already accused New Democrats of crawling into bed with NSP.
But NDP Leader Darrell Dexter said yesterday it’s just a matter of common sense.
“Mr. McNeil and Mr. MacDonald combined to impose that tax on every household in the province, and it is always baffled me why Mr. McNeil insists that higher electricity costs are a good thing for the people of Nova Scotia,” he said.
There are electricity tax rebates, particularly for low income earners. Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil made sure to point this out as he sharply criticized the NDP and Nova Scotia Power yesterday.
“Nova Scotia Power crawled (into) bed with the New Democratic Party yesterday with the announcement of supporting that initiative. We’ve made it very clear that’s not the route we’re going. We will invest in creating jobs. Leadership is about making choices, not buying votes,” said McNeil.
Premier Rodney MacDonald also defended his party’s position, particularly by citing the rebates. He said his Building for Growth stimulus plan also includes $50 million to retrofit buildings to make them more energy efficient.