Nova Scotia Conservative candidate Gerald Keddy has removed a re-election sign that was attached to a billboard touting the federal government's economic plan.

Keddy's campaign sign was placed on a federally funded Canada Economic Action Plan sign, on a busy street in Bridgewater.

The five-term Conservative acknowledged his team was responsible, but he downplayed it as a mistake that happens to every party early in an election.

"The sign was removed immediately," Keddy told CBC News on Wednesday.

His NDP opponent in South Shore-St. Margaret's, Gordon Earle, complained to Elections Canada, arguing it was a use of government resources.

Earle said the incident shows that the Conservatives don't follow the rules.

"The Conservative government seems to feel they're beyond the scope of the law and do whatever they want,"  he said.

New Democrats said they first noticed the sign on Tuesday. They took photos on Wednesday and issued a news release.

The sign was gone by Wednesday afternoon.

Keddy dismissed the NDP complaint as a sign of "desperation."

"I heard the press release went out on behalf of the NDP and my first thought was, 'What kind of desparation is this?'" said Keddy.

In 2009, Keddy made national news when he used ceremonial government cheques emblazoned with a large Conservative Party of Canada logo.

Opposition parties argued it was a "shameless" promotion tool for the party and that it broke the rules.

Keddy defended the move at first but later apologized, saying it was inappropriate and he wouldn't do it again.

Last year, Canada's federal ethics commissioner ruled that it was inappropriate but not illegal.