Revelstoke MLA questions effectiveness of new fuel transparency reporting requirements

Minister Ralston expects public scrutiny will help regulate gas prices

The Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA is skeptical that newly announced reporting requirements for wholesale gasoline and diesel fuel suppliers will provide relief at the pump.

Last week Bruce Ralston, minister of energy, mines and petroleum resources, announced that companies that import, purchase, store and distribute gasoline and diesel to be sold at retail stations must regularly report to the BC Utilities Commission.

Each report must include details covering fuel imports, storage capacity, bulk sales and wholesale prices.

Ralston said he expects public scrutiny will ensure companies self-regulate and sell at the pump for fair prices.

However, according to Doug Clovechok, MLA for Revelstoke, gaspricesbc.ca is currently re-posting publicly-available information from the Kent Group.

“If this information was already available, then why haven’t gas prices already been lowered?” he said in an email to the Review. “Relying on transparency alone won’t help drivers’ pain at the pump. The NDP needs to focus on the factor they control–taxes. Drivers are paying almost 24 cents a litre in taxes in Revelstoke.”

The recent announcement comes several months after the BC Utilities Commission began tracking gas prices in Revelstoke, Powell River, Port Alberni and Squamish after public outcry over fuel prices in those communities. The investigation is set to wrap up at the end of September.

READ MORE: Utilities Commission investigating gas prices in Revelstoke

Clovechok explained the big question is what the government will do with the information once they have it.

“I have been at-bat for the people in our constituency who, for far too long now, have been paying some of the highest gas prices in North America,” he said. “Life has become less and less affordable under this NDP government and this announcement is cold comfort to the people in Revelstoke who continue to be gouged by fuel prices.”

B.C. passed the Fuel Price Transparency Act last year and in March the utility commission was declared the independent administrator of the act, with the authority to collect and publish data on fuel pricing to promote competition in the market.

Submission of the newly required reports will start in October and the data is expected to be available to the public in November.

The requested details are already collected by wholesale fuel suppliers so it will not be onerous for them to collect and provide to the B.C. Utilities Commission, Ralston said.

“The step to regulate prices directly is a big step,” he said, noting the government is not considering fines or other measures to force lower gas prices.

“What I would like to do is to see how the requirement to publish the wholesale prices works out and what effect it may have on prices and then we will consider whether there are further steps necessary.”

—With file by The Canadian Press

Gas prices

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelowna filmmaker launches fundraiser for ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ fan movie

Donations will go towards the production of ‘The Sawyer Massacre’

LUNA REIMAGINED coming up this weeked

Six new art allery installations will be revealed Sept. 26

Photographer Bruno Long introduces A Friend of a Friend

The portraits are being used as ‘paint’ for an abstract art piece to be installed outside

Revelstoke Women’s Shelter Society hires in-house counsellor

Free sessions available for men and women in the community

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

16 COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health region

One person is in hospital and 34 people are isolating

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

Truck, Shuswap police vehicle collide during arrest of wanted man

Emergency response team and helicopter called out to assist in Chase area arrest

Stolen vehicle recovered from site of Vernon manhunt for wanted man

Police return to Brooks Lane in response to reports of suspicious vehicle

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Shuswap search and rescue crew respond to dirt biker injured on Mount Ida

North Vancouver man transported to hospital for treatment of injuries

Popular South Okanagan cafe shuts its doors

Saint Germaine Cafe and Gallery served its last latte Sept. 19

Kelowna woman to run from Vernon to Penticton for mental health awareness

Melissa Gosse’s 100-kilometre ultramarathon will raise funds for Canadian Mental Health Association

Most Read