Fuel tax hike could be disaster for border towns

January 23, 2014

KINGSTON – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP and Opposition Consumer Services Critic Toby Barrett predicts more border hopping for cheap gas if there’s a hike at the pumps.

“More expensive gas in Ontario – to pay for Toronto subways – by default means cheaper gas in the U.S. and more people buying product over the border,” Barrett said.

He predicted a double impact for towns along the New York State border which is not only an option for cross-border fill-ups, but also presents an alternate route to reach eastern Ontario.

“Another gas tax hike on gasoline is another reason for people to drive from eastern Ontario to Niagara Falls through New York state, and vice-versa, rather than through Ontario,” he said.

Barrett was in Kingston as part of a week-long tour with the province’s finance committee for pre-budget hearings. Barrett, Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark and Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonnell stopped at a Kingston Petro-Canada station to talk to the owner about the implications of the price hike proposed by the government’s transit panel.

“This government doesn’t have a revenue problem. This government has a spending problem. The last thing residents in eastern Ontario need is to pay an extra 10 cents per litre for gas, which will also drive up the cost of essentials such as groceries, heat for our homes and the cost of doing business in Ontario ” concluded McDonell. “Ontarians deserve better. It’s time to change the team that leads this province.”