Liberal about-face on gas regulation proof McNeil has no plan

December 18, 2014

NDP MLA Dave Wilson says today’s Liberal about-face on gas price regulation is proof Stephen McNeil has been making platform promises to Nova Scotians that were drawn on the back of a napkin for years.

“We have opposed regulation from the very beginning, we believe this does nothing but cost Nova Scotians money,” McNeil told the Canadian Press in 2007. He followed those comments with a pledge to end regulation as an election platform promise in 2009.

As recently as this spring McNeil confirmed he would deregulate gas prices by the end of his mandate and indicated he might act on the issue this past fall.

However, today Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister Mark Fury told reporters his department doesn’t have the data it needs to judge whether or not gas regulation works. Instead of keeping his election promise, McNeil is spending more than a million dollars to study gas regulation over the next two years.

“If Stephen McNeil was confident that gas regulation doesn’t work, he wouldn’t be spending a million dollars to study it,” said Wilson.

“Why didn’t Stephen McNeil do his homework on gas regulation before making a promise to Nova Scotians? He’s had seven years. We believe gas regulation works and we hope studying the issue to understand how it can be improved will benefit retailers and consumers,” said Wilson.