On Friday, Ontario premier designate Doug Ford said he’s putting the oil companies on notice.
“Friday rolls around long weekends and they start gouging people,” said Ford. “The party’s over with taxpayers’ money. Just want to make sure the gas companies hear me loud and clear on that.”
Despite the potential impact in other areas, Ford is sticking to his campaign promise to drive down gas prices within days after he takes office.
A range of tax cuts combined with spending promises has Queen’s University policy expert Don Drummond watching closely to see how Ford will do it.
Drummond says he doesn’t know how the new provincial government will be able to balance the books: “They’ve got a dilemma because they’ve got all kinds of spending initiatives and proposals to cut taxes, but they also say they’re going to balance the budget over a responsible time frame and it doesn’t add up.”
Dan McTeague at gasbuddy.com says Ford’s plan to pull out of cap and trade will only cover a portion of his promised 10-cent-a-litre reduction at the gas pumps.
“It works out to 4.6 cents a litre for consumers,” said McTeague. “On the diesel side it works out to 6.6 cents a litre.”
A portion of the provincial gas tax gets funnelled back to municipalities for road maintenance and public transit.
Kingston plans to add more express transit routes and is about to enhance the downtown bus terminal.
Kingston mayor Bryan Paterson says he hasn’t seen any signs from the new provincial government that funding promises won’t be honoured: “All the conversations we’ve had with the provincial government so far have been very positive, and so again we’re certainly not concerned at this point.”
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