Fuel Assistance Program Announced

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations (to March 31, 2014)

January 17, 2003 9:02 AM

Note to Editors: Mr. Christie will be available to the media from
12 noon to 12:30 p.m. today, Jan. 17, at his constituency office,
1350 Bedford Highway, Ste. 5.

The Nova Scotia government is stepping in to help low income Nova
Scotians deal with the high price of home heating fuel. Peter
Christie, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal
Relations, announced the financial assistance program today.

"We're well into the heating season and the rising cost of fuel
is hurting low income Nova Scotians," Mr Christie said. "This
assistance will help those Nova Scotians who most need it."

The Low Income Fuel Assistance Program will provide $50 to
qualified families with a net income of $17,400 or less, single
people earning $10,000 or less, recipients of income assistance,
and seniors who receive the guaranteed income supplement or
spouse's allowance. The assistance is available to qualified
applicants who heat their homes with oil or propane.

"It's important that Nova Scotians who qualify apply for this
help as quickly as possible. We know $50 is not going to insulate
anyone from global petroleum market forces, but it will help
those who need it most to keep warm this winter," Mr. Christie
said.

Applications will be available at all Access Nova Scotia Centres,
Community Services offices and Registry of Motor Vehicles
locations starting Feb. 3. The 20,000 applicants who received
assistance under the program two years ago will be mailed
application forms to their 2001 address. Applications can also be
obtained by calling 424-5200 in the Halifax area, or toll-free 1-
800-670-4357. The deadline for receiving applications will be
March 31.

Applicants must include a copy of their 2001 income tax
assessment forms from Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and a
copy of a recent fuel bill (oil or propane). Canada Customs and
Revenue officials will work with Service Nova Scotia and
Municipal Relations staff to verify the income of applicants if
income tax assessment forms are not immediately available.

Nova Scotians impacted by high fuel prices should shop around for
a fuel supplier that best fits their needs, said Mr. Christie.
Some companies will deliver as little as $100 worth of oil and
some offer a discount if the customer pays cash on delivery. For
next winter, consumers should consider the benefits of locking in
their price for the year, a feature usually offered in the fall
by some fuel suppliers.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     The provincial government is stepping in to help Nova

Scotians hardest hit by rising fuel prices. Fifty dollar rebates

will be available to low income Nova Scotians who use oil or

propane to heat their homes.

     While the rebates won't shield anyone from global petroleum

market forces, they will help those who need it most, said Peter

Christie, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal

Relations.

     To qualify, families must have an income of less than 17-

thousand-four-hundred dollars. Individuals must have an income of

less than 10-thousand dollars. Recipients of income assistance

and seniors who receive the guaranteed income supplement or

spouses allowance will also qualify.

     People must apply for the rebate. Applications will be

available starting February 3rd at all Access Nova Scotia

centres, Registry of Motor Vehicles, and Community Services

offices.

-30-

Contact: David MacNeil
         Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
         902-424-6336
         E-mail: macneidf@gov.ns.ca

kjd         January 17, 2003         9:00 A.M.