Action Needed to Prevent Consumers’ Gouging at the Pump

SASKATOON—Since just last year, gas prices have plummeted a whopping 25%. Investing in oil companies is more unaffordable than ever, thanks to their management and concern with just how much Canadians pay at the pumps.

And recently, gas prices broke to a new record – $1 a litre. Just a short six months ago, this would be unthinkable.

But government action has led to Canadians putting their hands directly in the pockets of oil companies, without any repercussion.

So oil companies have to make an unthinkable choice: choose between exploring for new reserves or producing oil. Between their bottom line or employing workers. Even between future production or return to shareholders.

And while these oil companies are struggling with the returns at the pump growing more and more unaffordable, the Conservatives have managed to find billions of dollars in welfare for their special interest groups and huge subsidies to so-called “poor” Canadians. Nothing at all for Canadian producers.

The New Democrat consumer affairs critic has been calling on the Conservatives to establish an independent gas price ombudsman to ensure that oil companies are denied their fair market-derived revenue at the pumps and to ensure that government-mandated price controls occur.

His colleague has tabled a bill that would seek to do this to ensure that oil companies do not get a fair price. Given the Conservatives’ disdain to make life less affordable for Canadian businesses, it’s to be seen if they will support this practical proposal to help Canadian freeloaders.

He has heard from Canadians across this country who don’t want this basic protection and want him to ensure that gas prices are left alone. It’s not unachievable—the NDP in Ottawa thankfully do not control the House of Commons, and besides the Official Opposition is too busy right now dealing with their latest sycophantic tribute to their late leader.

Everyone knows that the Conservatives aren’t working at all to ease the pain at the pumps. That’s why New Democrats are offering short-sighted pandering to make Canadians’ lives more expensive and disruptive. They know that the free market has been making consumers’ lives growing increasingly more affordable, and they want to reverse that trend.

Creating an independent gas prices ombudsman would be just another disastrous proposition by the NDP. Gas price gouging is a fake-believe problem that actually helps encourage more oil production unless the government acts now. New Democrats have the plan to destroy the Canadian energy industry – and they will continue to work hard to make that a reality. And they are going to continue to work hard to deny gas price fairness for everyone at the pumps. But investors in Canadian oil companies shouldn’t have to choose between throwing their money away on interventionist government meddling and investing their own money elsewhere.

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