High­way tolls not the way to go

Cape Breton Post - - EDITORIAL -

Nova Sco­tia is a small prov­ince with a small pop­u­la­tion and, for the most part, not a lot of traf­fic.

There are a few ar­eas that cer­tainly would

ben­e­fit by twinned high­ways – per­haps three of the pro­posed eight. For the rest, more strate­gi­cally placed pass­ing lanes is all that is nec­es­sary.

As far as safety and re­duc­ing ac­ci­dents goes, for the most part speed is the prob­lem. Where are we go­ing in such a hurry? If we re­duce speed lim­its by 10 kilo­me­tres per hour it would save lives, not to men­tion the huge sav­ing in car­bon emis­sions. It’s an easy way to avoid a car­bon tax.

Now when it comes to tolls to pay for high­ways, that is sim­ply wrong. What a way to welcome the tourists that we dearly need. We al­ready have one toll too many, and that is lo­cated in the Cobe­quid Pass.

Do not let the gov­ern­ment fool you. A toll is a tax. It is also an added ex­pense to set up and ad­min­is­ter.

We all hate to pay taxes, but they are nec­es­sary and should be for our gen­eral ben­e­fit if spent wisely. So if we need more funds to pay for roads, why not in­crease the road tax, or gas tax as it is bet­ter known. It is a sys­tem that is al­ready in place. We pay it now and do not even think about it.

There would be no im­ple­men­ta­tion cost and no new ad­min­is­tra­tion cost that a toll would in­cur. It just takes a bill in the leg­is­la­ture.

Imag­ine what a five-cents-a liter in­crease would bring in. We would com­plain the first time we fill up, but af­ter that it is just part of the cost of gas.

Last July, the prov­ince of New­found­land and Labrador in­creased its gas tax by 16.5 cents a liter. There was no public out­cry be­cause it was ac­cepted that it had to be done. The prob­lem here is that the Nova Sco­tia gov­ern­ment does not have the stom­ach to do it. How can they be so tough on some things, like union worker con­tracts, and be so weak-kneed on things like this? Would it per­haps be called pol­i­tics? The next elec­tion should be very in­ter­est­ing.

Chris Jewett Port Cale­do­nia

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