Tax Relief

No gas tax relief in sight for BC as costs surpass $2/litre

Amid rising costs at the pumps, our neighboring province is temporarily scrapping its provincial fuel tax—but the same can’t be said for British Columbia.

On Monday, BC Solicitor General Mike Farnworth showed no sign of BC following in Alberta’s footsteps after that province announced it would be pausing its 13 cents per liter fuel tax on gas and diesel.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the change would come into effect on April 1st, offering Albertans some financial relief as fuel prices soar.

“There’s no simple solution to the situation of rising fuel prices,” said Farnworth, explaining prices are “driven by events outside of provincial control.”

His comments came as Victoria saw a record-breaking 208.9 cents per liter at some service stations, with users of the Facebook group Greater Victoria Gas Updates pointing to prices in Sooke hitting 216.9 cents per liter.

Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Farnworth says “significant instability” is rocking energy markets globally, but he noted the only planned increase in BC is the one-cent per liter on April 1st due to a hike in carbon tax.

Economists have also indicated that fuel companies don’t raise prices to take advantage of the margin, according to Farnworth.

Last month, BC Premier John Horgan touched on gas prices and warned that a “challenging summer” was ahead, especially with international supply chain disruptions in play.

However, Horgan said the BC Utilities Commission is obliged to ask providers of petroleum products their rationale behind their pricing.

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