OUR VIEW: Gas probe limits only give fuel to critics

B.C. Premier John Horgan has found a vehicle to give British Columbians some relief from the soaring gas prices gripping the province. Unfortunately, in an attempt to shield his New Democratic government from any criticism, Horgan has ensured that vehicle will never reach its destination.

The province announced an investigation into drivers’ pain at the pumps that will ask oil companies to explain their gas prices.

READ MORE: Oil companies, 24-cent gap between B.C., Alberta to be focus of gas price probe

The $1.52.9 price of a litre of regular gas at Campbell River gas stations has left many drivers fuming. The price represents a cost of upwards of $50 a week for the average commuter, and that’s before any weekend getaways put that cost even higher.

In a letter to the B.C. Utilities Commission earlier this month, Horgan asked the BCUC to find out why wholesale – and pre-tax – prices are 24 cents higher in Vancouver than they are in Edmonton. “British Columbians want to know why refining margins are so much higher than in other parts of the country,” Horgan wrote. “In March 2019, refining margins for Vancouver were more than double the Canadian average.”

But Horgan watered down any potential findings of the investigation by insisting that it not look into the effect provincial gas taxes or policy has on the price. That handed his critics all the ammunition they needed to ensure the investigation gets any traction.

And the political precaution was entirely unnecessary. We are all aware that taxes make up a good chunk of gasoline prices. Here in Greater Victoria, according to a the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the province collects just under 29 cents on every litre by way of the provincial excise tax, carbon tax as well as the tax it collects on behalf of regional transit. But the few pennies those taxes have increased over the past year or two fail to explain the soaring prices at the pump. In fact, the province would have to eliminate all the taxes it collects just to reduce the cost to what it was less than two years ago.

The premier should have had the courage to let the investigation go where the facts lead it. By limiting its scope, he has only ensured that it will eventually sputter out.

Just Posted

Campbell River man in medically-induced coma after serious dirt bike incident

GoFundMe campaign raised more than $3,000 by Monday afternoon

Campbell River’s Greenway Loop event attracts hundreds of red-clad supporters

More than 100 people showed up to ride or walk the Greenway Loop or part of it

Lively and festive Pride Day at Campbell River’s Spirit Square

Campbell River’s Pride Festival attracted a good crowd to a lively day… Continue reading

Cops, Pops, and Pizza serves up smiles and support for Special Olympics BC

Campbell River RCMP and Special Olympians join up with local Boston Pizza

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Most Read