Minister Rickford – Gas Prices Remain Too High

Gasoline Prices in Thunder Bay on December 5, 2018
December 5, 2018 - Gas Prices in Northwestern Ontario are being examined by the Competition Bureau

QUEENS PARK – Minister Greg Rickford, Ontario’s Minister of Energy is questioned at Queen’s Park over the efforts of the Ford Government in reducing the price of gasoline. Minister Rickford has contacted the Competition Bureau over the cost of gasoline in Northern Ontario.

Minister Rickford stated, “We have been tracking the price of gasoline in Northwestern Ontario for the past several months.”

Gasoline Prices in Thunder Bay on December 5, 2018
Gasoline Prices in Thunder Bay on December 5, 2018

Rickford says that prices in Northwestern Ontario have remained high despite the cuts to gasoline taxes put in place by the Ford Government.

“Our Government for the People has followed through and taken steps to cut gas prices in Ontario. Now we need to make sure those savings are being passed on to consumers across the province,” said Minister Rickford.

The government eliminated the cap-and-trade carbon tax of 4.3 cents per litre off the wholesale price of gasoline and 5.0 cents per litre off the wholesale price of diesel fuel.

Earlier this September, wholesalers began removing these costs from their prices and in most markets across Ontario, retail prices have decreased with this change. However, in northwestern Ontario, particularly in Kenora, Fort Frances, Dryden and Thunder Bay, these savings do not appear to have been shared with consumers.

“We’re seeing anomalies in northwestern Ontario retail fuel prices which may be evidence of a lack of competitive behaviour,” said Minister Rickford. “Given these observations, I am requesting that the Competition Bureau undertake a full review of gasoline and diesel retail pricing practices in northwestern Ontario.”

The price of a litre of gas in Thunder Bay today is $1.29.9 per litre.

The Ford Government is opposing the Federal Government’s Carbon Tax.

“Most of Canada’s progress towards meeting its greenhouse gas emission targets is due to action Ontario has taken without having to resort to a job-killing carbon tax,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Ontario is already doing its part and our families, workers and businesses have already sacrificed a lot. There is no justification to punish them further with a carbon tax.”

When it file dits factum with the Court of Appeal on November 30th, 2018, the province will set out the arguments it is making to challenge the constitutionality of the federal government’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (the carbon tax). Ontario is arguing that the provinces, not the federal government, have the primary responsibility to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and that the charges the act seeks to impose are in fact unconstitutional disguised taxation.

“Our government cannot stand by and let this unconstitutional tax eliminate jobs and hurt families who are already struggling to get ahead in Ontario,” said Attorney General Caroline Mulroney. “People should not have to pay even more for driving their kids to hockey, for going out to buy groceries or bringing a parent to a doctor’s appointment. The federal carbon tax takes money from families’ pockets and makes job creators less competitive.”

The province’s efforts to support Ontario families and businesses included passing the Cap and Trade Cancellation Act, 2018, eliminating a costly burden for businesses and making life more affordable for families. Yesterday, Ontario launched a new, made-in-Ontario environment plan tailored to the province’s specific priorities and regional challenges and opportunities while striking the right balance between a healthy environment and a healthy economy.

“Our new plan contains solutions that will protect our air, land and water, reduce waste, address litter, support Ontarians to continue to do their share to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help communities and families prepare for climate change,” said Phillips. “It puts Ontario on a path to meet our target, which matches Canada’s commitment under the Paris Agreement. Most importantly, it does all of this without imposing an ineffective, regressive carbon tax on the hardworking families of our province.”

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