COLUMN: Horgan won’t act on gas prices

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett’s regular column for the 100 Mile Free Press

Under pressure to do something about rising gas prices, Premier John Horgan commissioned a review last spring to explain why British Columbia has the highest gas prices in the country.

The latest report delivered on Tuesday is deliberately designed to point the finger at the oil and gas industry, without any reference to the amount of provincial and federal tax people pay at the pump.

Horgan forbade the BC Utilities Commission from looking at the whole picture because it would highlight the fact British Columbia charges the highest fuel taxes in North America, and it is only going to get worse under the NDP.

On average, drivers in B.C. pay 49.4 cents a litre in gas taxes alone. That level rises even higher in the Lower Mainland where drivers are dinged 60 cents in taxes due to additional transit levies.

To milk drivers even more at the pump, one of the first things the NDP did when they assumed office in 2017 was to eliminate revenue neutrality from the carbon tax.

When the carbon tax was brought in by the previous government in 2007, British Columbians were promised that any increase in the carbon tax would result in an equivalent decrease in other taxes.

Horgan immediately abandoned revenue neutrality to help fund all of his spending increases over the past two years.

So far we’ve had two carbon tax increases. But now the finance minister confirmed that the NDP government is running out of cash and teetering on the brink of deficit financing, and so Horgan is going to hit British Columbians with two more increases in the carbon tax starting April 1st.

Horgan once promised that his NDP government would do something to lower gas prices. British Columbians will remember that the next time they fill up at the pumps.

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