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Friday, February 23, 2007

Socialists to the rescue

A B.C. New Democrat, MLA John Horgan, is introducing a private member's bill in the legislature today which, if passed (highly unlikely) would regulate gasoline prices in B.C. and require the government to launch a public inquiry into allegedly high gasoline prices in the province. (The story is behind a subscriber-only wall in today's Vancouver Sun.)

But surely, Mr. Horgan is aware that not a single one of these sort of public inquiries, that have been held in recent years throughout Canada, has found evidence of collusion or gouging. Even the federal competition bureau says the similarity of prices in any region is not evidence of collusion.

Still, Horgan thinks British Columbians are being "gouged" on the price of gas. At around $1 a litre, gasoline is marginally more expensive in B.C. than in most other parts of the country, but that's certainly not proof of gouging. Horgan's unsubstantiated allegation is, however, proof of grandstanding.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on February 23, 2007 in Canadian Provincial Politics | Permalink


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"allegedly high gasoline prices"

"At around $1 a litre, gasoline is marginally more expensive in B.C"


I don't know where in Canada you live,but it is obviously not in B.C.A CKNW talk host has even dedicated a portion of his daily show to keep the gouging that IS occurring here front and center in the news.Here are some comparisons from the last 3 months in cents/litre...

Today High Low
Vancouver 1.03 1.09 .91
Montreal .99 1.02 .84
Saskatoon .96 .96 .86
Toronto .95 .95 .75
Calgary .88 .89 .77

Keep an eye on those low figures.....at times over the past few months,we have been paying .18/litre more than in Toronto for example.This story goes far deeper than'todays'prices indicate.

If you want to slag some poor misdirected dipper,be my guest.

But don't spread misinformation about the gouging occurring here to embellish your attack on him.

Posted by: Canadian Observer | 2007-02-23 12:23:16 PM

So is this Dipper dipstick also in favour of lowering the taxes that the government gouges us with?

Posted by: obc | 2007-02-23 12:51:39 PM

How about that? Jack Layton asking Gore to address
our Parliament?
If that doesn't get your blood boiling you don't have any!

Posted by: Liz J | 2007-02-23 1:58:21 PM

There is one refinery in the entire Lower Mainland. Something tells me it's a government protected monopoly and explains the price difference between Vancouver and places with consistently lower prices.

Canadian Observer is nationalist socialist winbag deluxe. Go read a Mel Hurtig book and attend a Maude Barlowe lecture. And stay away from F.A. Hayek and Ludwig von Mises books. God forbid you might learn something about economic science.

Posted by: Robert Seymour | 2007-02-23 2:58:08 PM


I would take the time to challenge your first point,but then you went on to display the actual depths of your arrogance and ignorance on the topic.

The fact you would presume to know me proves clearly that you don't worry about being informed on a topic before you shoot your mouth off about it.

Posted by: Canadian Observer | 2007-02-23 3:26:06 PM

I hate to agree with a dipper but he is right we are being gouged. Last week gas was 66.9 in Toronto and 102.9 here in Cloverdale. The explanation we were given was it was it was shipping costs at 36 cents a liter, it sounds reasonable, to an idiot.

Posted by: Alan | 2007-02-23 3:33:40 PM

I also live in B.C., the Fraser Valley, and find it interesting why we pay so much more than the East. Nevertheless I am opposed to any form of government price control. As for the statement of being gouged, may I point out that we are gouged on just about every item due to the distribution system which favours Ontario. Farm tractors and machinery which are imported from Japan should, common sense tells me, be cheaper than in Ontario. Yet this is not so, again due to the distribution favouring Ontario. Parts for the same must come from Ontario, with the result that many of us drive south of the border to purchase them at a much more reasonable price. Grain is another example of this. Most of it is produced in the West, yet again the East gets favoured treatment with lower prices in spite of the shipping distance.

Rather than any kind of price control, I would like to see an end to this system of imposed serf-ton.

Posted by: Alain | 2007-02-23 4:17:27 PM

I think you wont find to many people that think that the gas companies don't gouge. I have heard many x gas station owners tell stories about towing the line for esso or petro-can. One told me that prices are pretty much set and if you decide to go lower, mysteriously shipments will start arriving late, or sometimes not at all.
At least before gas station owners actually OWNED the station, now they just have a whatever the big gas companies will let you have.

Posted by: Sean Whelan | 2007-02-23 4:20:50 PM

This is not about corporate greed,it is about envy and grandstanding.

No self-respecting dipper would think twice about a 50 cent per litre gas tax to save the planet or the public "health care" "system", but many on the left resent the merest possibility that a publicly traded company might let market forces prevail in the pricing of their products.

Retail gasoline markets are more competitive than, say, retail milk pricing, but oil companies make better targets than dairies and supermarkets.

Posted by: Halfwise | 2007-02-23 4:23:33 PM

When prices are too high, it's gouging.
When prices are too low, it's dumping.
When prices are just right, it's collusion.

I give up.

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-02-23 6:34:29 PM

Vancouver 1.03 1.09 .91 Libs
Montreal .99 1.02 .84 Libs
Saskatoon .96 .96 .86 Dippers
Toronto .95 .95 .75 Libs
Calgary .88 .89 .77 Conservatives

Until you people get the "knads" to elect a government that will remove the ridiculous moratorium on offshore drilling and control your own destiny, I say it looks good on you.

Posted by: deepblue | 2007-02-23 8:55:47 PM

$2 per litre should be the government rate because that would ensure supply to BC.

Posted by: philanthropist | 2007-02-23 10:59:30 PM

Just wondering how many screaming about the price of fuel would be willing to ignore market value and to sell their property for the same price they paid x number of years ago? Clearly none of us would. Furthermore if we compare the increase in price of fuel to the increase in price of just about every other item, we may just find that it is not as great as claimed.

Of course I would prefer to pay as low a price as possible just as the next person, but I am not willing to exchange the free market for more government (provincial or federal) intervention. Another factor playing out in the Lower Mainland of BC is the added on taxes demanded by the greenies. They would of course love to outlaw all vehicles (except for themselves), but they wilfully ignore the fact that outside of Vancouver residents one is not often to opt for public transport. My vehicle is not a luxury but a necessity.

Posted by: Alain | 2007-02-25 1:54:06 PM

You beat me to it deepblue. People (Barb Yafee did same thing) whine about high prices without realizing that they are part of the solution.

Posted by: rockyt | 2007-02-25 2:04:58 PM

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