gaspump_thumb
gaspump_thumb This article is more than 1 year old
Fact-Check

Poll Shows Most British Columbians Blame Corporate Greed for High Gas Prices, Not Taxes

The BC Liberals tried to use the same poll to blame taxes

The BC Liberals are claiming a poll backs up their opinion that “taxes” are to blame for “high gas prices,” even though the exact same poll shows a majority of British Columbians think big oil companies are to blame instead.

With gas in Metro Vancouver costing around $1.70 per litre — the highest in North America — it’s understandable the BC Liberals would make hay of a poll that finds half of BC drivers feel high gas prices make it harder for them to “afford necessities.”

The BC Liberal caucus tweeted the findings of the poll Tuesday and blamed it all on the BC government for “refusing to cut gas taxes.”

But a closer look at the Angus Reid poll cited by the BC Liberals shows 47% of British Columbians actually think they’re getting price gouged by “oil companies” and their “desire to maximize profit,” while another 16% blame market forces.

Only 37% of British Columbians blame taxes for the rise in gas prices.

The numbers are even starker broken down across party lines — while Conservative supporters predictably blame gas prices on taxes, a majority of supporters in every other party blame price gouging by big oil companies.

Source: Angus Reid

Those numbers match the findings of expert reports, which place the blame for high gas costs squarely on Canada’s oil and gas oligopoly.

As PressProgress previously reported, studies show Canadian oil giants are using their domination of the market to gouge drivers at the gas pump.

CCPA economist Marc Lee pointed out that BC’s fuel supply is provided by just four refineries run by Parkland, Shell, Imperial and Suncor.

With that much market power, those companies can jack up gas prices without fear customers will take their business elsewhere.

Meanwhile, BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson’s proposal to cut gas taxes would do little to lower costs for consumers.

As UBC professor Werner Antweiler points out, a tax cut would more likely help line the pockets of oil companies, with fuel prices remain inflated.

“The motorists that hope they would get a break can dream on, because actually the money will go to oil companies if the government cuts the taxes,” Antweiler told PressProgress. “They (the companies) would find more of an opportunity to pass on more costs to higher prices.”

On the other hand, governments could take steps to stop companies from gouging drivers — Angus Reid found many would be in favour of such a measure, with 70% said they would support the provincial government capping gas prices as Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Quebec already do.

 

Help us protect Canadians by holding the powerful accountable.

Journalism is an important public service. That’s why PressProgress is prioritizing stories aimed at keeping Canadians safe and holding the powerful accountable during the coronavirus pandemic.

Please consider supporting our award-winning non-profit news organization so we can keep making a positive impact for Canadians.

 

Support Our Journalism
PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2021-02-017 News

Rex Murphy: Don’t Listen to ‘Television and Radio’, They Want You to Believe That Climate Change is Real

Related Stories

Fact-Check

Post Millennial Misleadingly Claims the Ontario Legislature Put a ‘Trigger Warning’ on a John A. Macdonald Statue

View the post
Fact-Check

Ontario Proud’s Viral Facebook Meme Claiming That Canadian Media Ignored the Murder of a Child is False

View the post
Fact-Check

Canada Proud’s Claim That The Government ‘Banned’ Remembrance Day Ceremonies is Very Clearly False

View the post

Explainers

Human rights and inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Why The Full Impact of Hate Groups on Targeted Communities Is Not Captured By Hate Crime Statistics

View the post
Power and democracy

Andrea Reimer

How The COVID-19 Pandemic Revealed Canada’s Most Powerful People Have Less Power Than They Think

View the post