The provincial NDP is starting to make some noise on the frequently fluctuating price of fuel. Their attention comes in a week which has seen the price of gas rise from 89.9 to 1.02.9 at one point at one local gas station, eventually settling around 96.9 at all stations by Wednesday.
The North Coast MLA has joined the chorus of other provincial NDP MLA’s to regulate the price of gas in British Columbia. A notion that will most likely find favour with Podunkians making the rounds of the city’s gas stations looking for a reasonable price for a litre of gas.
You can keep track of the ebb and flow of gas prices in Rupert by clicking on the gasbuddy site, there are a few eagle eyed locals that post the latest prices on a regular basis.
Tuesday’s Daily News provided details on the plans of the NDP to address the always contentious issue of gas pricing in BC.
PUT THE BRAKE ON COST OF GAS SAYS COONS
By Leanne Ritchie
The Daily News
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
North Coast MLA Gary Coons is joining other New Democrats in a call to regulate gas prices in B. C.
“I continually hear of the price gouging and ripping off of consumers, especially on the North and Central Coast and the Queen Charlotte Islands,” said Coons\
“When we see large oil companies making record profits, while working British Columbians are struggling to make ends meet, we must regulate gasoline prices as we do other forms of energy.
“We have previously challenged this government to take action, but their silence has been deafening.”
New Democrat energy critic John Horgan announced yesterday that he will introduce a Private Member’s Bill in the B. C. Legislature to regulate gasoline prices in B. C., where motorists are forced to pay prices higher than many other Canadians.
Horgan, the MLA for Malahat-Juan de Fuca, said the NDP is also calling for a full public inquiry into the matter of why gasoline prices are significantly higher in British Columbia than in other provinces, such as Ontario and Alberta.
“We have been hearing the message loud and clear from our constituents that they are tired of being robbed a the gas pump with prices that are significantly higher than in other parts of Canada,” said Horgan.
“It’s time for the B. C. government to step up to the plate, set in motion an inquiry and explain to British Columbians why they are being gouged for gasoline,” Horgan said.
Coon’s points out that gasoline prices are not regulated in B. C., but are regulated in some other provinces.
“It doesn’t make sense for British Columbians to pay such high gasoline prices, particularly when world prices are falling,” Horgan said.
“I call on the B. C. Liberals to put the people of B. C. ahead of their corporate backers and support my Private Member’s Bill to regulate gas prices.”
According to BC.gasprices.com, which collects data from across the country, gas prices in B. C. currently range from 88.9 cents per litre to $1.05.
B. C. had the third highest gas prices across the country yesterday, averaging 98.53 cents per litre.
The only provinces with more expensive gasoline prices were Newfoundland at 100.4 and Nova Scotia at 103.8.
The lowest prices seen across the country were in Alberta where motorists were paying 87.6.
Gas prices hit an all-time high on the North Coast back in September 2005, reaching $1.22.
Back in September, analysts blamed the high prices in the United States, and the impact form the numerous refineries in the U.S. south that were shut down because of the effects of hurricane Katrina, at the time when supply was already tight.
At the time, the Liberal federal government promised to step in and set up a federal body to monitor the gasoline industry to look for price gouging.
UPDATE: 9 am Thursday--Both Petro Can and Esso have priced their gasoline at 102.9, Chevron, Husky and Race Trac have held the pricing at 96.9 for the time being.
12 noon--Chevron and Race Trac join the 102 club, leaving only Husky to fight the good fight at 96.9, though they suspect they shall be going up shortly.