Ontario Gas Tax Cut 'Bad Step' Says Expert

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Ontario’s gas tax cut:“a “wrong step”,”expert believes

Doug Ford assures that, thanks to this gas tax reduction for one year, an average family will save $195. (Archives)

Ontario's decision to extend the 40% gas tax cut for another year will hurt the province as much economic than environment, in addition to disadvantage Gatineau, underlined Jean-Thomas Bernard, economist and visiting professor at the University of Ottawa.

The Ontario government has reduced pump prices by 5.7 cents per liter this summer, a measure that was set to expire on December 31.

However, during a press conference on Sunday, Premier Doug Ford announced that he would extend this measure.

Everyone without exception is worried about the rising cost of living. From gas to groceries, prices have gone up and that is putting pressure on budgets. People need help, he said.

This extension, therefore, will save the average Ontario household $195, he continued. , emphasizes Jean-Thomas Bernard, economist and visiting professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Ottawa.

Because in economic terms, he explains in an interview at the Téléjournal Ottawa-Gatineauwith Daniel Bouchard, the measure does not take into account the disparity in the distribution of wealth in Ontario.

The current rise in the price of gasoline is due to the rise in the price of oil. This measure does nothing to correct that. […] For the people who ride a personal watercraft next summer, we will not see them cry because they pay a little more for the gasoline they use, launches the economist.

Jean-Thomas Bernard, professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Ottawa

The second part where the reduction of the gasoline tax poses problem, it is on the environmental level, it adds.

Globally, during the COP-27 meeting we are discussing how to accelerate the transition away from oil. And that's not right on that side.

Finally, if the gas tax reduction can be beneficial for Ottawa residents, it would be to the detriment of Gatineau distributors, points out Mr. Bernard.

There are a lot of people who work on the Ottawa side. The distance here is not very far. You just have to cross the bridge.

Meanwhile, Mr Ford says his government is doing everything it can to reduce pressure on household budgets.

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