NDP MPP Gilles Bisson announces bill to protect Ontario families from gasoline price gouging
QUEEN’S PARK –On Friday, Timmins-James Bay NDP MPP Gilles Bisson announced his intention to table a private member’s bill to protect consumers from price gouging by regulating the retail price and wholesale mark-up of petroleum products in Ontario.
“Gas companies and refineries have been gouging Ontario families for far too long,” said Bisson. “They are currently an unregulated commodity and they can charge us whatever they want. This is just wrong and it needs to end.”
On Thursday according to GasBuddy, gas sold for 101.7 in Hagersville while in Thunder Bay it sold for 139.9—that’s almost $0.40 per litre difference. Even within the same regional markets, we are seeing large price swings. Thursday, the price of gas in Timmins was 128.9 while less than 2 hours away on Highway 11, the price in Kapuskasing was 114.6.
“The average price of oil has been between $50 and $55 per barrel, yet the retail price of gas per litre does not reflect the barrel price,” Bisson stated. “If we can sell a case of beer or a bottle of wine for the same price in Cornwall and Kenora, certainly we should be able to bring fairness in the price of gas.”
Bisson’s bill, Fairness in Petroleum Products Pricing Act, 2017, will allow the Ontario Energy Board to regulate the retail price and wholesale mark-up of petroleum products in Ontario. The Lieutenant Governor in Council will be given power to govern the Board. The Bill will guide the Ontario Energy Board and Lieutenant Governor in Council to: protect the interest of consumers with respect to the predictable and consistent retail pricing of petroleum products; prevent pricing practices that undermine the stability and competitiveness of retail markets for petroleum products, including retail markets in remote, rural and northern areas; and ensure transparency and reasonableness with respect to the prices of petroleum products.
Bisson plans to introduce this legislation early next week.