NDP UNVEILS ONTARIO’S HST GAS PRICE GOUGING: Province going to get a $1.73 billion windfall from HST on gasoline and diesel

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2009

NDP UNVEILS ONTARIO’S HST GAS PRICE GOUGING: Province going to get a $1.73 billion windfall from HST on gasoline and diesel

WINDSOR – Today, NDP Industry Critic Brian Masse (Windsor West) and NDP Justice Critic Joe Comartin (Windsor-Tecumseh) along with gasoline station owners revealed the enormous tax grab the province of Ontario will obtain from the application of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) to gasoline and diesel.

“This is an outrageous gouging of Ontario drivers. The province has chosen to follow the most egregious behaviour of those legendary profiteers-the big oil companies in ripping off consumers,” Masse declared while standing in front of the OLCO station in Windsor. “People don’t expect their elected representatives and provincial government to mimic the worst sort of corporate actions.”

Ontario Bill 218, which harmonized the provincial sales tax with the federal goods and services tax, completed the legislative review process and received Royal Assent on 15 December 2009. Unlike a similar bill in British Columbia which exempted gasoline, diesel and other fuels from the HST, Ontario’s bill applies the HST to all fuels including propane and furnace oil. A research study indicated in 2008 approximately 15.8 billion litres of gasoline and 7 billion litres of diesel was sold in Ontario. If the level of gasoline and diesel purchases remains steady and the HST was applied to January 12, 2010 prices for each, the province would collect an additional $1.73 billion.

“At a time when the manufacturing sector is trying to stabilize, the introduction of this new tax is just going to add to transportation costs and is a significant obstacle the province has put in way of real economic recovery,” Comartin stated. “This is the wrong time for a new tax let alone the wrong sort of tax. Gouging drivers and raising transportation costs is the opposite of what is needed.”

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For more information please contact: Mohummed Peer 519-982-8816