B.C. drivers will be getting a one-time ICBC rebate due to record-high gas prices.
Premier John Horgan announced Friday that individuals will receive a rebate of $110, while commercial drivers will get $165. Drivers of electric vehicles will also receive $110.
Horgan said the high prices at the pump are a “direct result” of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and he hopes this will help offset the cost for British Columbians.
ICBC has provided two previous rebates to customers, and Horgan said he chose it again because of the corporation’s “strong financial standing” after changing to its enhanced care model.
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said the one-time rebate will be issued this spring and will total $195 million.
Customers will start to receive their rebates in May, Farnworth said.
People will either receive a direct deposit or a refund to their credit card. All other customers will receive cheques in June.
In an extensive interview with Global BC, last week, Horgan said the province has taken its time to assess the gas price situation before unveiling a plan.
The government has been under increased pressure to respond to rapidly rising prices.
Prices at the pump have broken North American records amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But prices are higher in B.C. than anywhere else on the continent.
The government already ruled out two measures: cutting gas taxes and capping prices. The province says doing either would distort the market.
“We have tools. Some people say it is the taxes. It is not the taxes,” Horgan said.
“I do think people are amending their behaviour. They are looking at carpooling. Looking to fit an extra kid in the car for soccer practice. That is what communities do in a crisis.”
The B.C. Utilities Commission is currently doing a review of gas prices, looking at a period between February 2021 and February 2022.
Horgan said if there is evidence of gouging, there will be consequences for any companies involved.
When asked about the timeline of this report, Horgan said he was not aware when this will be announced.
-with files from Richard Zussman