There has been a lot spoken about the cost of gas lately.
My inbox is full of correspondence from people who are struggling to get by. Almost daily, headlines are filled with new record highs in the price per litre, and the increases seem relentless.
Why is it so important? In a nutshell, the price of gas affects the cost of everything. Any item transported will increase in cost, as it takes that much more money to get it to our doorsteps, stores or into our communities.
This increased cost is seen at the grocery store, at the drug store and in building costs, as well as in the cost of clothes and supplies. It affects the cost of travel, whether for a family event like a funeral or wedding, a soccer tournament in a neighbouring city for our children or to travel for businesses trying desperately to recover after the long season of COVID. It affects the cost of everything.
It is also affecting our food security.
I am now hearing of farmers considering letting their fields lie unplanted because the cost to grow and harvest has outpaced what they are able to sell their produce for.
This is time to sound the alarm bell.
While many of these inflationary pressures can be blamed on factors outside our direct control, there are some things the government can do.
Here’s an example:
Provincial gas taxes in the Okanagan account for about 37 cents per litre when it comes to gasoline. Temporarily suspending, or lowering, these taxes would be a step in the right direction in providing immediate relief, especially to those on a fixed income.
The Alberta government lowered its taxes and Albertans saw an immediate 13-cent reduction in pump prices.
As the official Opposition, we have asked the government to do this right away.
British Columbians need action. They need this help now and a $110 rebate from ICBC that hasn’t been sent out yet (to some drivers) isn’t going to cut it.
My question to you is a simple one:
Would saving 10 to 15 cents a litre on gas help you?
I can be reached at 250-712-3520 or at Renee.Merrifield.MLA@leg.bc.ca