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Bankrupt oil company leaving Maritime customers in the cold

The trucks that typically deliver fuel across Halifax are sitting idle behind the Maritime Fuels building in Dartmouth, N.S.

The Nova Scotia-based company filed for bankruptcy protection last week.

“There are thousands of Nova Scotia‘s that have paid for what they thought was going to be their heat source for the winter and now they’re not going to be able to get that,” says Nova Scotia Liberal leader Zach Churchill.

Licensed insolvency trustee, PwC, has been appointed to deal with creditors.

Churchill says that doesn't do much for people who need to heat their homes today.

He wants the government to open the home Heating Assistance Rebate Program, or HARP, to those who have lost money.

“The current heating assistance rebate program is $600,” Churchill says. “We’ve asked the government to actually increase that to $1,000, which it was last year and if they did that we certainly think this would help the bulk of the people that have been impacted by maritime fuels going bankrupt.”

To qualify for HARP, a person living alone must have a net income of $55,000 or less, have a combined household oncome of $75,000 or less, receive income assistance or the guaranteed income supplement.

A statement to CTV News from Service Nova Scotia says the program's criteria has not changed.

They recommend customers cancel all prepayments and to register with the insolvency trustee so they can be listed as a creditor and they will be informed through that process as the company's debts are dealt with.

“Nova Scotian’s that are going to struggle to get through the winter and many of them might not be able to actually afford to heat their homes now and we certainly think that the government needs to step up in a meaningful way to help these folks deal with what’s going to be a challenging winter ,” Churchill says.

One that could leave some with empty oil tanks and empty wallets.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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