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Press Releases 2005

October 5, 2005

Klees Calls on Liberals to Act Now on High Gas Prices

( Richmond Hill ) Oak Ridges MPP Frank Klees today called on Premier McGuinty to lobby his federal Liberal cousins to provide relief to Ontario drivers who continue to be hit hard by excessive gas prices.

 

"High gas prices affect us all - from families and seniors struggling to get by on fixed incomes to job-creating businesses who rely on moving goods by vehicle," Klees said. "Consumers and businesses in Ontario have faced a 50 cent hike in gas prices since the beginning of this summer - they deserve some relief, especially from a federal government that has extra tax revenue as a result of the increases at the pumps."

Klees urged McGuinty to put more pressure on the federal government and offer specific solutions to help consumers and business, specifically to:

  • Cancel the 'deficit elimination tax' - it's been seven years since the federal government had a deficit so it's time to get rid of the 1.5 cent per litre tax (or $700 million for this year) that then Finance Minister Martin introduced in 1995 as a 'temporary measure.' To continue with it is simply gouging Canadian taxpayers;
  • Stop taxing a tax - reform the GST on gas so the government doesn't 'tax a tax' and so gets a windfall at the expense of consumers and business when prices rise. With $500 million from the GST, the windfall from both taxes for this year is $1.2 billion;
  • These aren't the only gas taxes - the province collects 14.7 cents per litre and Ottawa takes another 8.5 cents per litre of gas;

Last year, Ottawa collected more than $6 billion from the gas tax or over 20 percent more than a decade ago. Klees also said that Dalton McGuinty should be immediately exploring ways to entice producers to expand refining capabilities in Ontario to increase supply and drive down prices. He called on McGuinty to develop a plan to bring more production to the province.

 

"It is time for Dalton McGuinty to stand up for Ontario consumers and businesses that have been hit hard at the gas pumps," Klees said. "It is time to develop and implement real, constructive solutions to this problem. We cannot continue to sustain these high gas prices - for many low and middle-income families, the cost of gas is crowding their weekly food budget."

 

"McGuinty has been in the habit of demanding that Paul Martin give Ontarians back a portion of what we give the federal government in taxes," Klees said. "It's time he negotiated with Ottawa to put the brakes on runaway gas prices and bring in some much-needed relief for Ontario drivers."

 

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For more information please contact:

Frank Klees, MPP

905-707-3160

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