Friday , April 16 2021

B.C. Prime Minister John Horgan says the government is seeking ways to provide relief for gas prices

According to Boston's, which monitors prices across North America, the average price of $ 1.69 in Vancouver on Thursday is the highest on the continent.

Jimmy Jong / The Globe and Mail

Under pressure on high gas prices, Prime Minister B.C. said he would ask his top civil servant to find solutions to consumers worried about the cost of the pump.

John Horgan said on Thursday that he wants his deputy minister "to consider the range of options" available to BC which can lead to price reductions. He does not elaborate whether this means his government will consider reducing the provincial taxes, which are quoted on every liter of gasoline. It includes 8.89 cents per liter imposed by the carbon tax levy, a figure that rose by one cent this month.

"Of course, the challenges the public sees right now with the highest gas prices in North America are the result of a whole bunch of variables. That's not a simple question, it does not lend itself to a simple answer," said Mr. Horgan.

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The prime minister has been asked about this issue on several occasions, as gas prices secrete, as they do each year when the weather gets warm. At the same time, Prime Minister Alberta Jason Kenny said one of his first acts after being sworn in next week would be to pass a law restricting British Columbia's fuel supply, potentially putting more pressure on prices.

"The challenge for the traveling public is now serious, I see it every day, they see it every day," said Mr. Horgan.

In a statement responding to Globe and Mail's questions on the timeframe of the deputy minister's review, the prime minister's office said: "It's clear priority, but with the complicated efforts we still do not have a date for its completion."

In a separate statement, Jobs Minister Bruce Ralston said: "There is no silver bullet to reduce pump prices, but our government is considering the regulatory options available to the province."

The prime minister said there was not enough capacity to purify the province, with only two refineries, and B.C. receives most of its refined products from Alberta and Washington.

According to a statement by the provincial minister of energy and oil resources, the two oil refineries in BC to meet about 25 per cent of the province's gasoline demand, while the remaining 75 per cent of the province's demand meets refineries outside the province. About 65 percent of the total is from Alberta and 10 percent from the United States.

In a statement released Thursday, Bruce Ralston, a minister for employment, trade and technology in the province, said the province would consider regulatory options in dealing with the issue, but did not elaborate.

According to Boston's, which monitors prices across North America, the average price of $ 1.69 in Vancouver on Thursday is the highest on the continent.

The prime minister suggested that high-speed traffic lanes could reduce the number of free vehicles in BC. roads and gives people the opportunity to move and enter transit.

Liberal leader of B. C. Andrew Wilkinson said the government should cut taxes on provincial motor fuels in the Lower Continent.

"John Horgan and NDP have fought over the past few weeks with stupid ideas about refineries, accusing oil companies, accusing the federal government," Mr. Wilkinson said. "They should stop blaming everyone but themselves and taking action for 35 cents of tax on every liter of fuel."

According to the Ministry of Finance, provincial taxes for each liter of gasoline in the Vancouver region are 34.39 cents, with a tax rate of 17 per cent for the TransLink regional transport agency, a 6.75 per cent tax on motor vehicle tax registration fees, a provincial engine of 1, 75 percent tax on fuel and provincial carbon tax of 8.89 percent.

Although the carbon tax increases, Mr Horgan noted that the latest increase is just one cent per liter.

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Dan McTeague, senior analyst, said the "unfavorable truth" about NDP in BC is that the expansion of the Transo mountain pipeline will allow greater gas supply in the province.

In the interview, he said that Horgan's opposition to the pipeline's exploitation could ease its base, but it can also be restored. "The reality is that the gas pipeline is a rescue of the British Columbia's oil power economy. For this reason, turning back on him and opposing comes with considerable risks."

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