May 16, 2018 6:51 pm
Updated: May 17, 2018 2:12 am

BC Liberals call for government to provide temporary relief at the gas pumps

Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson is demanding the NDP government of Premier John Horgan give British Columbians at least temporary relief from gas prices. Richard Zussman has the details.


B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson is calling on B.C. Premier John Horgan to provide temporary tax relief on provincial fuel taxes. This comes as the gas prices hit all-time highs heading into the May long weekend.

“I think Premier Horgan has a pretty big question to answer. When pump prices are going through the roof, what is he going to do to help British Columbians have an affordable way of life?” Wilkinson said.

WATCH HERE: B.C. Premier John Horgan and MP Andrew Wilkinson sparred over the debate on pipelines on Wednesday with Wilkinson calling Horgan’s actions as “heavy handed.”

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“It’s very clear British Columbians are the ones paying for Horgan’s political games and his government’s hefty tax grabs. The least he could do for families is give them a break at the gas pumps so they can enjoy their well-deserved holidays this year.”

On Wednesday, gas prices across Metro Vancouver hovered around $1.62 a litre.

Horgan and Wilkinson were at a joint press conference in Chilliwack Wednesday afternoon on potential impacts of a flood. In a bizarre turn, the press conference quickly evolved into an impromptu debate on gas prices and the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

READ MORE: B.C. government threatens to sue Alberta over ‘turn off the taps’ legislation

Wilkinson raised concerns that if the B.C. government takes Alberta to court over the province’s “shut the taps” legislation, then British Columbians could suffer for years.

WATCH HERE: Morneau calls out Premier Horgan’s ‘deliberate attempts to frustrate’ Trans Mountain

“Is he going to take Alberta to court? Are we going to watch gas prices go through the roof for three years as it goes through the courts? The court is not an answer through gentle Canadian negotiations,” Wilkinson said.

When asked about providing gas price relief, Horgan said the high prices have nothing to do with his government’s position against the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. He also said refining capacity and demand outstripping supply has led to a steep increase in prices not just in B.C., but elsewhere in Canada.

READ MORE: Vancouver gas prices to hit almost $1.62 per litre, the highest they’ve been in Canada: analyst

“They are rising all across the country, they are particular high here because we don’t have adequate refining capacity here and we don’t have enough coming in to meet demand,” Horgan said.

“I don’t believe the public should make the connection between Kinder Morgan and high gas prices today.”

Gas prices have climbed in Metro Vancouver by more than 32 cents per litre, a 24 per cent increase, since last May long weekend and are currently the highest in the country.

“By temporarily reducing the provincial motor fuel tax and the Carbon Tax on gas and diesel, people who are heading off on the traditional B.C. summer road trip with their families can save some money,” says Wilkinson.

“It’s no coincidence that costs are going up while the NDP make bad decision after bad decision, like blocking a pipeline that has been approved and is going ahead with or without them. Hard-working people in this province pay enough as it is, it’s time for the premier to show some leadership and provide a little help.”


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