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Ontario extends 5.7-cent gas tax cut to the end of the year

Click to play video: 'GTA could see gas prices soar by 20 cents/litre between now and Victoria Day'
GTA could see gas prices soar by 20 cents/litre between now and Victoria Day
WATCH ABOVE: Analysts warn the GTA could see gas prices soar by 20 cents per litre come May 24 weekend, continuing the upward trend the city has been seeing in recent days. Kayla McLean has the story. – Mar 18, 2024

Ontario’s 5.7-cent per litre cut to the provincial gas tax is being extended to the end of the year and will be a key item in Tuesday’s budget, Premier Doug Ford announced Monday.

The Ontario government launched its gas tax cut in July 2022 and has extended it several times since, and now the reduction – along with a 5.3-cent cut to the price of diesel fuel – will remain until Dec. 31, 2024.

“It’s never been more important to keep costs down, especially now, as people struggle with the Bank of Canada’s interest rate hikes and the rising cost of the federal carbon tax,” Ford said at a press conference.

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Ford took the opportunity to rail against the increase to the federal carbon price set to take effect April 1, which he says will raise the cost of gas by three cents per litre.

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Help for drivers appears set to feature centrally in the budget, with the CBC reporting that auto insurance reforms are also on the way. Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy didn’t confirm the report, but he also didn’t deny it.

“We’re always working on making things more convenient and providing more choice for drivers,” he said.

“It’s not just about helping people with the cost of car insurance, but…we’ve taken the license plate stickers off, we’ve obviously today continued the gas tax cut, which is not just for drivers, but the whole supply chain.”

The Progressive Conservative government previously promised auto insurance changes in its 2019 budget to lower auto insurance costs, reform the medical assessments process and make the market more competitive. The auditor general wrote in a late 2022 report that little progress had been made, partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Average auto insurance premiums in the province increased by 14 per cent between 2017 and 2021, to $1,642, the auditor reported.

In another pre-budget announcement last week, Ford said the province would be giving municipalities $1.6 billion more for building key infrastructure to help support new home construction. It includes a $1 billion Municipal Housing Infrastructure Program and an additional $625 million into a fund specifically for water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.

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