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Inquiry into B.C. Gas Prices ignored key issues: critic

Last Updated Aug 30, 2019 at 1:53 pm PST

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Summary

Premier John Horgan called for the inquiry in May as gas prices hit 1.70 a litre.

One groups says the inquiry was doomed to fail because it's scope was too narrow

The final report will be release Friday, August 30

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — Gas could hit $1.52 per litre in Metro Vancouver Friday, that’s also when we find out the results of an inquiry into why B.C. gas prices are so high.

One critic says the BC Utilities Commission Inquiry was a waste of time and money because it’s scope was too limited.

“As far as the retailers giving up their information they told [Premier John Horgan] at the outset that they weren’t going to do that. And he’s not looking at taxes. And he’s not looking at government action, so that leaves you with very little to work with,” says Kris Sims, BC Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

“That’s why we’re baffled as to why he called the inquiry to begin with. If they factored everything in, and really heard from everybody–including taxpayers–that would have been a different story.”

RELATED: Petroleum companies refuse to hand over data as BCUC investigates high gas prices

Premier John Horgan called for the inquiry in May as gas prices hit 1.70 a litre.

“The rapid increase in gas prices in B.C. is alarming, increasingly out of line with the rest of Canada, and people in B.C. deserve answers,” Horgan said.

“We asked the BCUC to conduct a fair, transparent and comprehensive independent investigation. These terms provide the broad reach it needs to find answers and give recommendations to inform the path forward.”

RELATED: Premier wants oil and gas companies to share profit gains or be taken to court

Sims says Premier Horgan was unduly focused on the exposing potential misdeeds–like gas companies gouging drivers or colluding on price–from the outset.

“I think it was a way of distracting people from one of the major problems, which is supply. So, if we aren’t going to be able to get supply coming down from, for example, the Trans Mountain Pipeline, we could easily wind up back at $1.70 again in Vancouver.”

The report will be released Friday, Aug. 30.

With files from the Canadian Press