Getting Hosed At The Pumps?:angus Puts Gas Prices On Election Agenda

Charlie Angus says the outrageous price of gas is making life increasingly difficult for northerners. This is why the New Democrats are calling for a Gas Ombudsman to investigate gas prices. Angus has consistently called for action from the Conservative government on gas prices. He points out that the single largest jump in the price of gas in the last two years came from the imposition of the HST.

“What’s really galling is that the Conservatives think of drivers as some kind of cash cow. They’ve thrown the HST on top of already high gas prices.”

Angus says the HST is a massive transfer in the tax burden from the large corporations onto the backs of ordinary citizens.

“This year alone, the Conservatives will give $840 million in tax breaks to the profitable banks and guess what; Ontario residents will pay an extra $895 million in taxes at the pump. It’s a rip-off and it’s not fair.”

In July 2008, Angus sent a letter off to Competition Commissioner Sheridan Scott calling for an investigation into the enormous difference in gasoline prices between northern and southern Ontario.

“We have seen 20 cent differences between southern and northern Ontario. When the price of oil dropped on the international market southern Ontario prices dropped and yet nothing changed in the north."

In 2007, New Democrats introduced a bill to establish an Office of the Oil and Gas Ombudsman to investigate consumer and business complaints relating to the practices of major oil and gas suppliers. Liberals and Conservatives voted to kill the bill. NDP Jack Layton has committed to putting in place an ombudsman to help protect consumers.