VICTORIA (August 2, 2019) – BC Liberal MLA Peter Milobar is expressing concern following the cancellation of oral hearings for John Horgan’s half-baked gas price review at the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC).
“Not only did John Horgan ban his rushed gas price review from looking at the impact of NDP policies and taxation on the costs of fuel, but now the oral hearings from interveners have wrapped up early,” said Milobar, MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson. “Had Horgan allowed the BCUC to investigate the full picture, we would still be hearing expert testimony. Instead, the oral hearings have been cancelled.”
The NDP prevented the BCUC from investigating the impact of provincial taxes and policies on costs or looking into the various ways the provincial government can lower gas prices. The BCUC cancelled hearings scheduled for earlier this week on July 31st and August 1st stating that the panel had no further oral questions to ask interveners.
“British Columbians deserve the full picture when it comes to why they are paying the highest gas prices in North America, not just what John Horgan has decided matters,” added Milobar. “The fact that an investigation into fuel costs cannot consider the impact of fuel taxes, transit taxes, and the government’s opposition to increasing pipeline capacity is ridiculous.”
Last month, the BCUC increased its confidentiality terms for inquiry participants in order to ensure information provided to the investigation would not jeopardize business. Participants in the inquiry submitted evidence of NDP government policies increasing the price of gas despite the fact that the BCUC cannot include that information in their final report.
“For the NDP government to limit information and rush this report is insulting to British Columbians looking for real answers,” concluded Milobar. “People deserve a government that takes this issue seriously, especially as people across the province face an affordability crisis where less pain at the pump could make a big difference in helping make ends meet.”
The BC Liberal Caucus continues to call for gas tax relief. By temporarily suspending the two provincial gas taxes, the NDP could save Vancouver drivers approximately $5.00 on an average tank of gas.