Bruce Ralston, B.C. minister of jobs, trade and technology, speaks in the B.C. legislature. (Hansard TV)

B.C. pushes for greater industry ‘transparency’ in gasoline pricing

Legislation responds to fuel price gap of up to 13 cents

The B.C. government is moving ahead with legislation to require gasoline producers to disclose more information about their fuel pricing.

Jobs, Trade and Technology Minister Bruce Ralston introduced the “Fuel Price Transparency Act” after an independent investigation this summer could find no explanation for a price gap of between 10 and 13 cents per litre on gasoline sold in B.C.

Speaking to reporters Monday, Ralston stopped short of calling for government regulation of retail fuel pricing, saying he will wait for additional information once the new legislation is passed.

The B.C. Utilities Commission issued a follow-up report last week, after taking more submissions from gasoline processors that supply B.C. from refineries in Burnaby and Prince George, as well as major producers that refine gasoline and diesel in the U.S. and Alberta.

The BCUC was again unable to explain the price gap, under a mandate that prevented it from examining taxation or environmental regulations such as B.C.’s low-carbon fuel standard that mandates use of ethanol in gasoline.

Ralston wasted no time pointing fingers as he introduced the legislation Monday.

“The BCUC found that there are considerable markups on the price of gasoline, including a 10-to-13 cent per litre premium being charged to drivers that the industry refused to explain,” Ralston said.

“This premium results in British Columbians paying an extra $490 million each year. This legislation brings us greater transparency at the gas pumps and sends a message to the oil and gas companies: the days of setting your prices in secrecy are coming to an end.”

RELATED: B.C.’s costly gasoline partly due to low-carbon requirements

RELATED: B.C.’s 13-cent gasoline gap still a mystery, John Horgan says

BCUC chair David Morton said when the first report was issued in September that the small number of producers serving B.C. means the market is not as competitive as it could be. Morton added: “There is no evidence to suggest collusion among the retail operators exists, nor is there evidence of cartel behaviour.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Thousands of ‘PPE’ donated in Surrey, where one care home is ‘preparing for the worst’

SafeCare BC’s Operation Protect drive involves drop-off dates in Guildford

White Rock announces more COVID-19-related changes to parking

Additional, temporary measures about safety, access: mayor

Psychologist’s advice on parenting in the pandemic

SFU psychology prof Dr. Tanya Broesch, with expertise in child development, discusses short and long-term impacts COVID-19 pandemic is having on children and parents alike

South Surrey caterer aims to help feed hospital workers during pandemic

Campaign to benefit Peace Arch, Surrey Memorial staff

From inside the ER: B.C. doctor tells it like it is from the frontlines of COVID-19

‘Stay home. It’s working,’ says ER doctor in a Q&A discussion, ‘And please don’t worry.’

Trudeau commits $100M to help food banks amid COVID-19 crisis

Funds will help ‘urgent food needs’ for Canadians awaiting federal emergency benefits to kick in

Captain America joins friendly Abbotsford Spider-Man to take down trash

Local garbage crew bringing smiles to city amid pandemic

Couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas: Cowichan by-law

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

How well can cell phones carry COVID-19? Disinfecting may be wise

‘You want to keep it as clean as you would normally your hands’

3M pushes back on Trump administration call to stop sending N95 masks to Canada

3M says it has already been turning out as many of the N95 masks as possible

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Most Read