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B.C. politicians being called to task to lower gas prices

A petition has been launched urging B.C. politicians to lower gas prices. Christopher Katsarov / The Canadian Press

A petition which calls on politicians to reduce taxes at gas pumps in B.C. has been launched by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

“Our petition calls on Premier John Horgan to cancel the B.C. carbon tax, reduce the TransLink Tax and support pipelines so we get tax relief and an increased fuel supply,” said said Kris Sims, B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF).

“And if he won’t do it, then Andrew Wilkinson should promise to do it if he becomes premier.”

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The tax reduction call is for areas where prices have hit more than $1.78 per litre.

According to the CTF, that’s a record-breaking price and the highest in all of North America.

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“British Columbians are being punished at the pumps for driving to work, dropping their kids off at school and picking up groceries – and politicians are the big culprits,” Sims said.

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The B.C. carbon tax is 9.8 cents per litre with GST, and the TransLink tax is set to jump up to 18.5 cents per litre soon.

According to the CTF, Metro Vancouver drivers are paying 50 cents more per litre of gasoline than drivers south of the border in Seattle, Wash.

That’s $35 more to fill up an average family minivan, and more than $1,800 extra per year for weekly fill-ups for one vehicle.

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“Politicians will say they feel our pain, that they want to help bring relief to drivers, but they need to walk the walk and actually do something real to bring these outrageous costs down,” Sims said.

A lot of gasoline in B.C. comes from the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, with much of the interior of the province dependent upon it for supplying fuel to gas stations, according to the CTF.

With Alberta Premier Jason Kenney threatening to restrict the flow of fuel running through the pipe if B.C. Premier Horgan keeps opposing the pipeline’s expansion, the CTF fears fuel prices could go even higher.

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“Premier Horgan should support pipeline projects, instead, he’s picked a fight with our neighbours in Alberta, and that could push prices even higher than they are now,” Sims said. “We need more supply and lower taxes – the solution is in the hands of provincial politicians.”

To view the CTF petition, click here.