• Liberal Caucus

Pain at the Pump

Last night panic gripped Islanders as word spread of a massive gas hike. The news sent everyone from Souris to Tignish straight to their local gas station. Today Islanders were alarmed to learn that gas has increased by 12 cents to a painful $1.72/liter. Current gas pricing includes a Provincial Gas Tax and others resulting in the province receiving 30c/ltr or 17% of every litre that Islander put in their tank.

There are a great many things that are out of our control in this world. We know that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is significantly impacting the cost of fuel and Islanders are feeling like there is little they can do to control their costs. As legislators we must do everything possible to help all Islanders and deliver solutions with the urgency they require.

There will be a long road to recovery for Islanders but the Liberal Caucus believes that solutions such as this could help our citizens today. A portion of every litre of gas results in profits for the provincial government and we believe firmly that the peoples’ money should help the people. Today we asked this government to move nimbly to support Islanders and consider suspending the provincial gas tax to help Islanders at this critical time. It is a simple motion and while many influencing circumstances are beyond the control of Island legislators, this is something that we could do.

As legislators we are called to courageously represent the will of the people and we take action. Therefore, as a point of privilege, I rose today and asked my colleagues of the legislature, to waive notice by providing unanimous consent to debate an emergency motion asking government to consider implementing immediate legislation suspending the provincial gas tax to ease Islanders’ pain at the pump.

We are very disappointed that despite the Premier’s lip service today claiming that he cares about Islanders and that his government would take all good ideas and be as nimble as they can to cushion the blow of these costs to Islanders, moments later his members refused to grant consent to debate a motion to do exactly that. We can only assume by this that Premier King is only inclined to proceed with a solution if he gets the credit but the Liberal Caucus is more concerned about helping Islanders and relieving pain at the pump.

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