VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – The province is asking the prime minister and the B.C. Utilities Commission to drill down and find out the real reason behind skyrocketing gas prices here.
Premier John Horgan says blaming his government for a recent increase to the carbon tax just doesn’t add up.
“One cent an increase in gas tax should not translate into a 40 cent increase in a cost of a litre of gasoline,” he says.
The premier’s letter to commission chairman David Morton says historically wholesale prices have been between 2.5 and 4 cents a litre more in Vancouver than in Edmonton, but that gap has widened over the last four years to almost 24 cents a litre.
Horgan spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday, and asked him to use the pipeline the federal government now owns to send more refined product to B.C. from Alberta, and less diluted bitumen.
“I suggested that he did have room and he wasn’t certain of that and that’s what he’s going to go back and look at. And look, he’s as concerned about the spike as we are here in British Columbia,” Horgan adds.
The premier @jjhorgan stopped in the halls today to talk about the conversation he had with the PM @JustinTrudeau over gas prices last night ahead of sending letter to BCUC asking them to investigate. #bcpoli pic.twitter.com/eh6FQQQzJ3
— LizaYuzda (@LizaYuzda) May 7, 2019
He has also requested the government investigate the root causes of the price increases — for example, whether it is gouging — similar to what he’s asked the provincial regulator to do.
“I wanted to wait until I had spoken to the prime minister before sending a letter to the Utilities Commission, which I did this morning, asking them to a review of the spike in prices, again trying to get a common set of facts.”
The letter says Morton has the ability to conduct detailed hearings that will provide residents with the necessary evidence and recommendations for the best path forward.
Horgan adds Trudeau has agreed to investigate, but said the federal government is constrained by market forces.
-With files from the Canadian Press