The Price at the Pump is Not the Only Way You’re Getting Fleeced

Harper’s Choice: Reward the Oil & Gas Industry While it Reaps Windfall Profits and Fleeces Consumers

[WINDSOR] As the price of gas soars, ordinary Canadians asking for a break at the pumps are wondering why they are subsidizing an industry that’s reaping billions in profits and gouging consumers while not even being asked to pay its fair share of taxes. Price fluctuations seem arbitrary and often appear to be driven only by anticipated demand and the introduction of the HST has placed additional upward price pressure on the cost of gasoline. Working families are coming to the realization that the Harper government has made a clear choice. Rather than promote the interests of everyday Canadians Harper prefers to shill for the oil & gas industry shamelessly gouging consumers during recession.

New Democrat Brian Masse discussed the choices made Harper: “Public policy is about choice and balance. Responsible leaders understand that the interests of one sector of the economy cannot be taken at the expense of our overall economic well-being. Taken objectively it is impossible to understand the free ride that the Harper Government has given the Oil & Gas sector in Canada. This reckless and unnecessary drive to further lower the across-the-board corporate tax rate has actually stunted net job growth and afforded this sector record profits in a recession largely subsidized by tax payers.”

Joe Comartin NDP MP for Windsor Tecumseh at dissolution commented on the decision to introduce a consumer tax in the middle of a recession: “Introducing the HST in this economic climate is just plain irresponsible. It really is baffling coming from an individual who claims to be an economist and shows just how little regard Harper has for ordinary Canadians and their real life circumstances in the here and now. The introduction of the HST has actually been paid for by consumers. ”

NDP Candidate for Essex Taras Natyshak highlighted the NDP proposal to protect consumers at the pumps: “Harper is basically telling Canadians that he’s sorry about their luck. The NDP has called on Harper to implement a Gas Ombudsman who could monitor the sector to ensure that all Canadians both retailers and consumers were being dealt with fairly by the industry—predictably the Harper has chosen to ensure that he places the industry ahead ordinary Canadians. His choice is to help an oil & gas sector that is raking in billions in profits rather than to do whatever he can to protect the interests of hard working Canadian families.”

Masse “On May 2nd everyday Canadians have an opportunity to make a choice and hold Harper accountable for his choices. New Democrats choose to stand up for working families on the issues that impact their daily lives. The costs for essentials like gasoline and keeping your home warm must remain affordable. We cannot sacrifice a stable economy that protects the interests of everyone in favour of increasing the bottom line of an interest group who has clearly demonstrated time and again that there only concern is profits over people. I know that ordinary Canadians have had enough of this and in increasing numbers are coming to the realization that New Democrats will stand with them.”