Highway tolls not the way to go
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