Bruce Ralston, B.C. minister of jobs, trade and technology, speaks in the B.C. legislature. (Hansard TV)

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

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

From left to right. Jeremy, Ryan and Mitch Hunter are all third generation owners of Excel Tire, which will soon to become Trail Tire. (File)
3 generations later: Iconic Revelstoke tire business to be retread with new name

Excel Tire soon to become Trail Tire, but is still owned by the Hunter family

Ryan Bavin of Bavin Glassworks in Invermere. Photo: Submitted
Call for entries for Columbia Basin Culture Tour

Deadline for registration for artists and venues is April 15

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

Downtown Revelstoke on March 4, 2021. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
48 COVID-19 cases in February for Revelstoke

Since the start of the pandemic roughly one out of 30 local residents have contracted the virus

About 50 people gathered Friday, March 5, 2021 in Penticton to protest city council’s decision to close a temporary winter shelter. (Jesse Day - Western News)
WATCH: Protest over Penticton shelter draws large crowd

People are gathering in Gyro Park to protest the closure of a winter shelter

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

Paramjit Bogarh, connected to the murder of his wife in Vernon 35 years ago, has been relerased on full parole, one year after he was sentenced to five years in prison for accessory after the fact. (Contributed)
Full parole for ex-Okanagan man who helped wife’s alleged killer escape

Paramjit Bogarh pleaded guilty to accessory to murder after helping brother flee Canada

The Princeton Traditional Music Festival, normally held in August, was denied a grant due to COVID. (File photo)
COVID makes some of the 2021 grant decisions for Princeton council

Municipality doles out funds while striving to meet policy

Most Read