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Diesel prices fuel economic worries for trucking industry in Atlantic Canada

MONCTON, N.B. -- Diesel fuel costs have become the trucking industry's number one worry according to the head of th...

MONCTON, N.B. — Diesel fuel costs have become the trucking industry’s number one worry according to the head of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, who fears Atlantic Canada’s economic competitiveness could be hurt if more isn’t done to help struggling trucking firms.

In a report from the Telegraph-Journal, APTA director Peter Nelson said the association is hoping to meet with the groups representing lending institutions and petroleum retailers, as well as shipping companies and producers in the near future.

Nelson also said that the four Atlantic provinces could consider easing diesel fuel taxes. In New Brunswick, for example, the government charges 16.9 cents per litre in tax for diesel fuel, compared to 10.7 cents for gasoline. Though the province previously cut the gas tax by 3.8 cents in 2006, no relief was extended to the trucking industry.

Business groups like the New Brunswick division of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business have said they would support a cut to the diesel tax.

Diesel prices in New Brunswick have hit a record $1.41 per litre. Oil prices fell slightly to just over US$117 a barrel in by noon on Thursday.

–with files from the Telegraph-Journal

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