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Unregulated gas-price ‘gouging’ means huge profits at the expense of drivers in Vancouver, says economist | The Star

VANCOUVER—Is it time to cap gas prices?

With consumers paying record-high prices in Metro Vancouver, Premier John Horgan said this month his government would consider “some relief” for those who can’t afford $1.70 a litre.

At least one economist says assistance should come in the form of regulation.

Marc Lee, a senior economist at the B.C. office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a research institute with a focus on social justice issues, blames “industry gouging” for Metro Vancouver’s pain at the pumps.

Lee said the BC Utilities Commission, which already regulates electricity and natural gas prices in B.C., should also oversee gas and diesel. B.C. should look to provinces such as Nova Scotia, where the Utility and Review Board sets a maximum and minimum in six different areas of the province to try to stabilize prices for consumers and help them make their buying decisions. Lee noted that gas prices this month in Halifax were 30 cents cheaper a litre than Vancouver.

Along with Nova Scotia, four other provinces regulate gas and diesel prices in some way, including Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Quebec according to Natural Resources Canada.

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Unregulated gas-price ‘gouging’ means huge profits at the expense of drivers in Vancouver, says economist | The Star.

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