QUEEN’S PARK – Gas prices are out of control and price gouging at the pumps continues to empty the pockets of Ontarians. That’s why Andrea Horwath’s NDP is tabling a bill Wednesday from NDP MPP Gilles Bisson (Timmins) to regulate gas prices.
Gas prices are hitting Northern and rural Ontarians especially hard — they pay the highest price for gas in the province.
The NDP’s Fairness in Petroleum Products Pricing Actwill require the Ontario Energy Board to regulate the retail price and wholesale mark-up of petroleum products in Ontario.
“At a time when the cost of housing, child care, groceries and everything else is rising fast, record high gas prices are taking a big bite of out family budgets,” said Horwath. “Doug Ford had three years to fix this problem and stop the gouging. But, like the Liberals, he’s siding with his buddies in the oil and gas industries, and the rest of us are paying for it.
“You’re getting gouged at the gas pump. Let’s fix it.”
Ontarians are paying record high prices – over $1.50 per litre in the Greater Toronto Area, and over $1.70 per litre in Timmins. Big gas chains can raise prices even when the price of oil drops.
Five other provinces have some form of gas price regulation to keep the price at the pump fair, including neighbouring Quebec.
“In the north, we’ve got families spending hundreds of dollars per week to fill up the cars just to get to work and school,” said Bisson. “Government after government doesn’t want to take on the oil and gas companies, so they just keep gouging people like us.
“Andrea Horwath’s NDP will finally fix the skyrocketing price of gas. The Ontario Energy Board can and should regulate the retail price and wholesale mark-up of gas — so that prices are fair, stable and competitive regardless of where you live.”
This is Bisson’s third attempt to have this bill passed. In 2017, the governing Liberals, including Steven Del Duca, voted against it. In 2018, Bisson tabled the bill again, but the Ford government let it languish, then prorogued the house so the bill’s progress was wiped out.
Marc Lee, Senior Economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
“Gas price regulation would put a lid on gouging behaviour, stabilize prices for consumers and make the industry more transparent to all concerned. Companies should not be able to jack up prices whenever a convenient excuse to do so comes along.”