The Canadian Way: Passively Paying More At The Pump
By Jim Stanford, Globe and Mail
"In the Middle East, fury over the rising cost of energy and other essentials sparked the overthrow of tyrants. In China, desperate truckers held spontaneous strikes to protest against gasoline prices. Even in politically paralyzed America, the government launched a major inquiry into oil industry pricing.
But in Canada, a seemingly well-functioning democracy, soaring energy prices haven’t caused a political ripple – even during a federal election campaign. What gives?
Canadians spent $50-billion on gasoline in 2010. This year, if current prices are sustained, we’ll spend $15-billion more. Paying more for what we already buy is, in effect, a $15-billion (or 1.5-per-cent) reduction in national disposable income. Non-gasoline purchases are already being crowded out. Add the impact of other energy bills (such as home heating), and the pain is worse. If history is our guide, this latest price surge will result in hardship, job loss, perhaps even recession..."
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Canadians are the only oil-producing suckers in the world that don't enjoy inexpensive fuel prices but, in fact, pay substantially more than their biggest export market. Who brought us here? It certainly wasn't the NDP, and not even the federal Liberals. The Liberal impostors in Victoria with their carbon tax are another matter.
It's therefore preposterous for Stephen Harper to suggest that we will pay more at the pump with an NDP government, since the opposite will likely be true.
If the Prime Minister is on the side of the consumer and wants to avoid the recession that is certainly coming with rising oil prices, and possibly get his much coveted majority government, he could do the following:
Announce that he will remove all tax on fuel forthwith,
Criminalise speculation on oil and other strategic resources,
Institute a domestic energy pricing policy.
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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada