How to find gas prices in Canada’s Alberta region
The oil patch’s oil-rich northeast is seeing prices drop as Alberta and B.C. are slashing subsidies and imposing a tax on gasoline and diesel.
The province says the levy will bring in $1.8 billion annually.
Gasoline prices across the region have also fallen by more than half in the past year.
“Inevitably, we’ll see some price increases in other parts of the province,” said Tim Brown, president of the Association of Petroleum Producers of Alberta.
“But overall, we’re seeing a lot of stability and a lot more stability than we had anticipated.”
Prices in the oilsands region dropped by more then 50 per cent between 2016 and 2017, when a tax was imposed on diesel and gasoline.
“We have a lot less money to spend,” said Brown.
“So we’re having to use a lot fewer resources.
We’re finding that the more money we have, the less resources we’re spending.”
Alberta and British Columbia are the only provinces in the world that have introduced a gasoline tax, although Ontario and Quebec are also imposing a similar levy.
While prices in Alberta are down by a third, it’s not expected to be the end of the world.
“The price of gas is a little bit of a drag on our economy, so the fact that we’re in a situation where we’re reducing subsidies to a degree that it’s making things cheaper for consumers is a good thing,” said Stephen Brown, the vice-president of Alberta’s oilpatch trade group.
“At the end you’re left with a much stronger economy and more jobs.”
A tax on diesel is expected to cost the province about $1 billion a year.
A tax of $1 per litre on gasoline will bring the total provincial gas tax to $2.7 billion a season.
The provincial government says that means the levy is likely to help balance the books and provide jobs for thousands of workers in the oilpatch.
The government says the tax will provide a $1-billion surplus in its fiscal year 2018-19 budget.
“There are a lot in Alberta that we can use to invest in the province, and we’re investing that money in the economy,” said Conservative MPP David Anderson.
“It will provide the opportunity for the province to grow.”