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

Port Hardy called in record number of black bear sightings last year

Conservation Officers attended 74 of the 314 calls made

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Ruined picnic tables are the main damage

Port McNeill’s outdoor swimming pool will stay closed this summer

The Town of Port McNeill typically hires 12-13 staff for the pool every year.

Bird contacting wires causes massive Port Hardy power outage

The power outage started at 1:18 p.m. and lasted until 3:00 p.m.

Port Hardy Salvation Army serving lunch daily during pandemic

Centre is closed to the public, but overnight shelter, daily lunch and one-on-one services available

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Vancouver Island First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council requests an independent investigation

Cortes Island affordable housing project hangs by a thread

Regional decision makers resort to COVID-19 concerns despite virtual meeting option and push hearing to September

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Man found dead in his tent at Island homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Most Read