THUNDER BAY, ON - June 9, 2011 - Queen’s Park – NDP Leader Andrea Horwath unveiled her plan to protect drivers at the pumps by setting a weekly price cap on the cost of gasoline.
“Life keeps getting more and more expensive and it’s time to give people a break,” said Horwath. “We can’t fix everything, but we can take steps to protect households from gas gouging.”
“We will give the Ontario Energy Board the power to set a weekly price cap for gasoline. The price of gasoline won’t go over that ceiling and drivers will know what they’re going to pay that week. No surprises. No shocks,” said Horwath.
Speaking to taxi drivers, Horwath said that while the Ontario government can’t change international oil prices, it can eliminate gouging and provide consumers with predictability and fairness. The OEB already regulates prices for natural gas.
The New Democrat plan would impose a weekly ceiling on gas prices to reduce volatility and regional price differences while encouraging competition. The OEB would also have the power to intervene if suppliers were gouging market.
“Filling up your car shouldn’t be like pulling the handle on a slot machine,” said Horwath. “In these tough times, it’s time to put people first. Gas companies will be forced to justify their prices and stick to them.”
Five provinces and many U.S. states have some sort of price cap on gasoline. The benefits have resulted in reduced price volatility, competition and efficiency, and eliminated opportunistic price gouging.