Ontario shoots down idea of temporarily cutting gas tax as prices climb
CTV News Toronto Queen's Park Bureau Chief & Videojournalist
CTVNewsToronto.ca Managing Digital Producer
Ontario's energy minister has shot down the idea of a temporary cut to gas taxes similar to Alberta as prices at the pump continue to climb.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced on Monday the government will temporarily stop collecting the provincial fuel tax on April 1, cutting fuel prices by 13 cents per litre. The tax would be indexed to the cost per barrel of West Texas Intermediate and would return when prices drop below USD$80.
When asked about whether Ontario would consider a similar policy, Minister Todd Smith said the province would only cut taxes if the federal government slashes the GST first.
"Any moves we make in Ontario will be contingent on the federal government making a change to their taxation policy," Smith told reporters at Queen's Park Tuesday.
The Ontario Progressive Conservative party promised to cut gas taxes by 5.7 cents per litre during the 2018 provincial election, and Premier Doug Ford doubled down on the pledge last November, promising the cut would come before the government tables the spring budget.
Ontario's fuel tax adds 14.7 cent per litre to the price of gas.
GAS PRICES GOING UP AGAIN
Gas prices in Ontario are expected to climb up again this week, pushing prices at the pump closer to $2 per litre.
According to Dan McTeague, President of Canadians for Affordable Energy, gas prices will go up on Thursday morning on average to $1.909 per litre.
The average price in Ontario right now is $1.849 per litre.
Early on Tuesday, McTeague told CTV News Toronto the price of gas would go up more than 10 per litre, but he has since revised that estimate "because of market volatility."
"We're coming in striking range of $2 per litre in Ontario," McTeague told CTV News Toronto. "Does it go over? I think it's a safe bet."
"This is unprecedented and the sky truly is the limit," he said.