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Liberals say NDP to blame for price at the pumps in B.C.; Watchdog says that's not the case

Last Updated Apr 16, 2019 at 10:34 pm PDT

(iStock Photo)

BC Liberal ad says 35 cents per litre in gas prices is due to NDP taxes. CTF says that's not accurate

METRO VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Gas prices in Metro Vancouver are incredibly high right now. So, who’s to blame?

The latest ad from BC Liberals points the finger at the NDP. But one group says that’s not accurate.

RELATED: Alberta election results could impact Metro Vancouver gas prices: analyst

The ad says “B.C. drivers are paying more for gas than anywhere in North America. Thirty-five cents on every litre comes from NDP taxes.”

It’s true, B.C.’s prices are the highest and 35 cents is provincial and TransLink taxes. But Kris Simms with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says the blame isn’t true.

“I find it interesting that we now have BC Liberals in ads and on Twitter saying, ‘Wow, these provincial gas taxes sure are high.’ Of course, they are. Really, they were the ones that started it,” she said.

Simms says while taxpayers are frustrated, they’re not dumb. “If they suddenly hear a politician chiming in with the chorus, they get disgruntled and they start distrusting politics. That’s why we would appeal to every party to get your data straight, make clear commitments, and stick to them.”

She says the Liberals were at the helm for the initial carbon and TransLink taxes. She adds if they’ve changed their stance on the carbon tax and work to revoke it, she’d be thrilled.

Speaking for the Liberals, MLA Jas Johal says they still support the carbon tax but it’s no longer what it was.

“The fact that the Premier has now taken revenue neutrality off, it’s now going to general revenue – that means it’s just another tax,” he says. “It’s going nothing to do with climate change.”

He says they’re not talking about getting rid of the carbon tax but says people do need a temporary break.

“We’re not saying a permanent cut but certainly in the next two or three months if it goes up a few more cents, I don’t think that’s healthy for the average person as well,” he says.

Beyond that, Johal says the prices now are unique, requiring unique action from Premier John Horgan.

“You can temporarily reduce the carbon tax. We are so far ahead of other jurisdictions – that’s one – the motor vehicle tax is another one,” he says. “He has levers within that 35 cents to help British Columbians.”

Horgan has repeatedly said there will be no relief from provincial taxes through the summer.