To the editor,
Thank you for your recent article about the higher gas prices we pay in Northern Ontario in comparison to the rest of the Province. I was interested to read Premier Ford and Minister Rickford’s comments on the matter.
In 2018, Minister Rickford said he was going to address the issue, but all he did was write a letter about northern gas prices to the Competition Bureau; they decided there was nothing amiss. If Northwestern Ontario drivers are still paying too much for gas, and the law according to the Competition Bureau says this is fine… then it is time to change the law.
It is false to state that the Ford Conservatives’ majority provincial government cannot reduce gas prices.
My caucus colleague Gilles Bisson has been raising this issue for over a decade. He has repeatedly introduced legislation to tackle this issue, but the Liberals ignored it. Now, the Ford Conservatives aren't taking action.
Bisson's bill, Fairness in Petroleum Products Pricing Act, 2018, would allow the Ontario Energy Board to regulate the retail price and wholesale mark-up of petroleum products in Ontario. That means that gas prices in Ontario will be regulated, and only change once a week. The NDP bill will stop the spikes in gas prices at the pump, and provide relief and predictability to drivers in northern Ontario and right across the province.
The bill passed second reading and has been referred to the Legislative Assembly Committee. Unfortunately, it remains stuck there. The Ford government can call the bill at committee, move forward with public hearings, and pass it in the legislature.
If Minister Rickford and Premier Ford truly want to do something about high gas prices, they know what they need to do. Time to step up and do it.
Judith Monteith-Farrell, MPP, Thunder Bay-Atikokan