B.C.’s fuel suppliers to publish prices to provide accountability: minister

Bruce Ralston says move will ensure industry publicly accountable for unexplained prices increases

Mandatory reporting requirements are being imposed on wholesale gasoline and diesel fuel suppliers in British Columbia to ensure transparency and accountability on pricing.

Bruce Ralston, minister of energy, mines and petroleum resources, says companies that import, purchase, store and distribute gasoline and diesel to be sold at retail stations must regularly report to the B.C. Utilities Commission.

Each report must include details covering fuel imports, storage capacity, bulk sales and wholesale prices.

Ralston says the reports amount to “pulling back the curtain,” and will ensure the industry is held publicly accountable for unexplained markups and prices increases.

RELATED: B.C. to track gas prices in four B.C. communities this summer

RELATED: Greater Victoria gas prices dip to lows not seen since February 2016

The reporting requirements follow an investigation into fuel prices in B.C., that Ralston says determined the gasoline market is “not truly competitive,” and was responsible for an unexplained 13-cent per litre premium.

B.C. passed the Fuel Price Transparency Act last year and in March the utilities commission was declared the independent administrator of the act, with authority to collect and publish data on fuel pricing in order to promote competition in the market.

“When a company feels that people are looking over your shoulder, they are much more likely to be cautious in advancing unexplained spurts in prices that they were not obliged to explain in the past,” Ralston said during a news conference on Friday.

Submission of the reports will start in October and the data is expected to be available to the public in November.

The utilities commission has also launched a website at gaspricesbc.ca to provide the public with information about factors that influence fuel prices.

This is a process that has been used in Australia, New Zealand, and Washington and Oregon states, said Ralston.

The requested details are already collected by wholesale fuel suppliers so it will not be onerous for them to collect and provide to the B.C. Utilities Commission, Ralston said.

“The step to regulate prices directly is a big step,” he said, noting the New Democrat government is not considering fines or other measures to force lower gas prices.

“What I would like to do is to see how the requirement to publish the wholesale prices works out and what effect it may have on prices and then we will consider whether there are further steps necessary.”

—The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich police encourage safe driving habits as rain leads to pooling on roadways

Slow down, inspect vehicle ahead of driving in wet autumn weather

Voting now ready for Arts Alive 2020 sculptures

Audio and written descriptions posted for all 10 sculptures

Victoria police seek suspect in parkade break and enter

Cycling gear, tools reported stolen from vehicle, storage locker

Saanich’s autumn full-moon lantern celebration shifts to drive-thru

Harvest Moon event takes place Sept. 26 in Gordon Head

Oak Bay Police bring home a West Shore grad

Const. Jake Colwell brings ‘conflict resolution and communication skills’

B.C.’s top doctor thanks supporters after revealing threats over COVID-19 measures

Dr. Bonnie Henry says COVID-19 has caused some people to lash out in anger and frustration out of fear

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

NDP, Greens divided on pace of child care improvements in B.C. election campaign

NDP Leader John Horgan recommitted to $10-a-day child care and blamed the Greens for not supporting his efforts

Rare fish washes onto Whiffin Spit in Sooke

Deep water fish identified as ‘King-of-the-salmon’

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Island Corridor Foundation launches survey on importance of Vancouver Island rail

“ICF remains 100 per cent committed to the restoration of full rail service on Vancouver Island”

Most Read