Opposition parties ridiculed the NDP plan to lower gas prices near the border Thursday.
The NDP hoped to solve the problem of Nova Scotian drivers crossing the border into New Brunswick to buy cheaper gas. They are considering lowering the gas tax rate near the border to compete.
“Clearly this is a silly idea,” Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil said. “The fact (is) they’re attempting to move the problem from one community to another, that’s all they’re doing.”
Gas station owners from nearby Nova Scotian communities have complained their customers would migrate to places like Amherst, where gas is now cheaper. McNeil said if the NDP wants to lower gas taxes it should be done across the province.
Progressive Conservative Interim Leader Karen Casey had the same concerns.
The Tories said any reduction should take place in other provincial entry points such as Yarmouth.
Premier Darrell Dexter defended the plan, saying it has worked successfully in other provinces.
“It’s something I always thought should have been done at the time when the zones were set up,” he said.
Dexter said a new system hasn’t been decided on and government staff will be looking into the questions raised. He said they are not currently looking at applying the tax break to other entry points, or extending it to other products such as cigarettes.