The B.C. Utilities Commission is launching their investigation into why the province’s gas prices, specifically on Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver, are so much higher than the rest of the country.
Gas prices have been hovering around $1.70 per litre in the Metro Vancouver area, the highest prices for gas in Canada now for several months.
Tasked by Premier John Horgan earlier this month, the province’s independent energy regulator will be able to call oil company representatives as witnesses, as they examine the market factors that affect overall gas prices.
“The rapid increase in gas prices in B.C. is alarming, increasingly out of line with the rest of Canada, and people in B.C. deserve answers,” said Premier John Horgan.
“We asked the BCUC to conduct a fair, transparent and comprehensive independent investigation. These terms provide the broad reach it needs to find answers and give recommendations to inform the path forward.”
The BCUC has been asked to:
- Examine the market factors that affect gas prices
- Investigate price changes, looking at competition issues, price fixing, and gouging
- Explain the difference in refining and retail margins between B.C. and the rest of Canada
- Review potential regulatory measures to increase transparency on how gas prices are determined
Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson has been calling on the New Democrats to reduce provincial gas taxes and has applied to participate in the investigation as an intervener.
The report is set to come out August 30.
With files from the Canadian Press.