That’s because mining vehicles like this 100 ton haul truck do not use public roads and highways. They stay on mine and quarry sites where they belong.

The provincial fuel tax is supposed to help pay for roads by charging the vehicle owners who use them. The government gives other natural resource industries a tax rebate for fuel used in vehicles that do not go on public roads, such as fishing boats, farm tractors and forestry harvesters. Nova Scotia gives the rebate to fishing, farming and forestry, but does not give it to mining. That isn’t fair.

The fuel tax harms the province’s mining industry in two main ways: 1) It makes mining in Nova Scotia more expensive compared to other provinces and hurts Nova Scotia’s mineral exports; and 2) it discourages mining companies from investing in Nova Scotia.

Including mining in the off-highway fuel tax rebate would cost the government approximately $2.6 million per year. It would apply to a range of vehicles that operate on mine sites, such as haul trucks and excavators, most of which never leave the mines and are not allowed to drive on public roads.

The government should treat all natural resource industries the same. Forestry, fishing and farming get the off-highway fuel tax rebate. The mining industry should get it too. It’s a matter of fairness.