High cost of driving is a hot topic among drivers and B.C. politicians

High cost of driving is a hot topic among drivers and B.C. politicians

WATCH: We are just around the corner from an unwelcome springtime tradition. Along with the May long weekend comes an all-too-predictable hike in gas prices. British Columbians are now paying some of the highest prices in North America and the B.C. Liberals are calling on the provincial government for some relief. Mary Griffin reports.

With gas pushing 156 cents a litre, Victoria drivers are paying some of the highest prices in North America.

And the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s British Columbia Director Kris Sims wants the government to help.

“We are calling on various levels of government to cut the federal excise tax, the carbon tax, and the GST Tax on tax,” Sims said.

Vancouver Island drivers pay 46 cents in taxes for every litre they pump. That adds up to almost $37 in taxes for an 80 litre fill-up.

The B.C. Liberals added their voices for action on cutting gas taxes, grilling the government during question period, led off by MLA Jane Thornthwaite. ”

Why doesn’t this premier do something to help British Columbians’ unaffordability instead of hosing people at the pumps?” Thornthwaite asked.

But Premier John Horgan said he sympathizes with drivers who are paying more.

“We have asked our deputy ministers to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to protect the travelling public,” Horgan said.

There is always the option of electric cars. On display at the legislature, even B.C.’s Energy Minister Michelle Mungall took one for a spin.  But cutting taxes may not so easy.

“It’s a lot easier said than done. And you have to acknowledge that there’s a lot of work that has to be involved in that,” Mungall said.

But B.C. Liberal MLA Mary Polak said it is.

“But lowering taxes is something that is here, it’s simple. And it’s in the hands of the government. They could do it with the stroke of a pen,” Polak said.

The last time island drivers hit the road on the May long weekend, gas was 27 cents a litre cheaper. It may be many kilometres before prices come down any time soon.


Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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