John Rafferty Speaks Out on Propane Pricing

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John Rafferty
John Rafferty MP

John Rafferty fired up the crowd and raised several thousand dollars for the campaign.
John Rafferty fired up a crowd in Thunder Bay on Sunday before heading to Ottawa

OTTAWA – Thunder Bay – Rainy River Member of Parliament John Rafferty rose the issue of skyrocketing propane prices in the House of Commons and questioned whether suppliers are price gouging during the cold winter months.

Rafferty said that he has heard from “dozens” of constituents on the issue, and stood in the House of Commons to make their concern known to the government.  The MP made the following statement just prior to Question Period today.

Mr. John Rafferty (Thunder Bay—Rainy River, NDP): “Mr. Speaker, the cost of living in rural and northern communities is much higher than in urban communities. For many, the cost of keeping their homes warm has reached a tipping point.

As Teresa of Atikokan wrote me recently: “The propane truck just drove away after filling our tank. It was the first time we’ve filled it since last May. You can imagine my shock when we discovered the price had risen 80% since our last fill up.”

That is right, the cost of heating her home has risen 80% in less than a year.

There are many stories like Teresa’s. Brian in Nolalu, Kathy in South Gillies, and many others living in Thunder Bay—Rainy River are hurting.

The Canadian Propane Association insists there is no shortage in Canada. Well, if there is no shortage, as the industry claims, then it must be yet another case of price gouging by an industry that targets a captive consumer during a time of need.

Now, the Minister of Finance will not notice the price spike until he goes to fill up his barbecue tank at his cottage this summer, but the Canadians he serves are suffering today and deserve action.

If the Conservative government turns its back on rural Canadians on this issue, as they have on so many others, then Canadians should know that the NDP is ready to get to work and make life more affordable for them beginning in 2015.”