ONTARIO – While he completely agrees with the Premier of Ontario that the gas price difference in Northern Ontario is totally unfair, Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha says that saying this is one thing, but so far the province hasn’t done anything to change it.
“I completely agree with Premier (Doug) Ford that the gas price difference in Northern Ontario is totally unfair,” Mr. Mantha told the Recorder on Monday. “My question is, what is he going to do about it?”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford told a news conference in Toronto this past Saturday that higher gas prices in Northern Ontario are totally unfair and that Minister of Energy Greg Rickford “is all over this.”
Soo Today reported on April 3 that a reporter had asked Premier Ford if he had taken into account how much more costly it is to travel in the North as intercity bus routes have been cut.
“Are the gas companies just trying to gouge people?” Premier Ford wondered aloud. “We’re going to get an explanation of the gas prices because it’s unacceptable. Absolutely unacceptable. People are paying 20 to 30 percent more in Thunder Bay and other regions, but we’ll get down to the bottom of this, I promise you. We’re already all over this.”
The premier said Mr. Rickford was working on the issue, but provided no specifics.
“It is nice to recognize the problem and talk about it, but what I want to know is what the government is going to do about gas prices in the North?” posed MPP Mantha. He said this isn’t the only issue that has come to the fore with the COVID-19 pandemic, with internet and broadband access and affordability, along with car and house insurance costs issues as well.
“What action is the government going to take to correct the problems?” asked Mr. Mantha. “The premier’s statement is nice but the government has to take steps to address all these problems. All they are offering right now is empty words.”
“They supported MPP Gilles Bisson private member’s bill to regulate gas prices, but where is it? It’s sitting on a shelf, collecting dust,” added MPP Mantha.