VANCOUVER (August 30, 2019) – The BC Liberals are again calling on John Horgan and the NDP to reduce the burden on British Columbians at the gas pumps after a report from the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) on high gas prices failed to prompt government action or reach definitive conclusions as a result of John Horgan’s meddling in the scope of the investigation.
“John Horgan broke his promise to help British Columbians by sitting back and watching B.C. families pay the highest fuel costs in North America all summer without raising a finger to help ease pain at the pumps,” said Peter Milobar, MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson. “Instead, Horgan and the NDP dragged their feet with a sham review that was barred from looking at the impact of their policies and taxation on the costs of fuel. John Horgan insisted high gas prices were due to industry collusion and this review has proven him wrong.”
The NDP actively prevented the BCUC from investigating the impact provincial taxes have on costs, as well as looking into the various ways the provincial government can lower gas prices. The review was then criticized for wrapping up early after the BCUC cancelled hearings scheduled for July 31st and August 1st.
“British Columbians deserve the full picture when it comes to understanding why they are paying the highest gas prices in North America, and regrettably they have been denied that by John Horgan’s meddling in the investigation,” added Milobar. “John Horgan knows that the NDP’s fuel taxes, transit taxes, and his opposition to increasing pipeline capacity contribute to high prices, but he made sure this review couldn’t examine how any of those factors affect the cost of fuel in British Columbia.”
Despite Horgan’s attempts to bar the review from discussing taxes, participants in the inquiry still submitted evidence that linked NDP government policies to an increase in the price of gas and the BCUC heard conclusive evidence that taxes are more than the cumulative costs and profits of the entire supply chain. This means that taxes are costing drivers in Greater Vancouver more than the entire combined cost of transporting crude to a refinery, refining it, transporting the refined product to a retail station, and then selling it to the public.
“British Columbians were left to pay high gas prices all summer while John Horgan used this rigged review for political cover when he could have easily lowered the provincial fuel taxes with the stroke of a pen,” concluded Milobar. “People across the province are facing an affordability crisis where lower fuel costs could make a big difference in helping make ends meet and yet even after this report was released, John Horgan is offering no action and no relief for the pain at the pumps.”
The BC Liberal Caucus continues to call for gas tax relief. By temporarily suspending the two provincial gas taxes, the NDP could save Vancouver drivers approximately $5.00 on an average tank of gas.