REGINA - In light of the soaring gas prices caused by the global economic uncertainty surrounding the events of Ukraine, Official Opposition Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon called on the Government of Saskatchewan to develop a Provincial Gas Price Relief Program to provide relief to Saskatchewan people currently struggling with the rising cost of fuel.
“These are extraordinary circumstances and the current increase at the pump is directly tied to the war in Ukraine and sanctions on the Russian government. These sanctions are crucial to continuing the pressure on Putin’s regime but we must ensure already-stretched Saskatchewan families are protected where possible,” said Wotherspoon. “Temporary measures like these will offer families some relief as we anticipate gas prices to continue to increase as the economic sanctions against Russia take effect.”
Wotherspoon noted that the average price in Saskatchewan is forty-two cents per litre more than this day last year - about $40 more for every fuel-up on a Dodge Ram 1500. Meanwhile, the province budgeted for revenue (WTI-$54.33, provincial budget 2021/2022) based on a barrel of oil priced at half it is today (WTI-$115.83).
“We are anticipating large increases to provincial revenue from our natural resource sectors but those increased revenues have not made it down to working families just trying to make ends meet at the end of the month,” said Wotherspoon. “That needs to change. Saskatchewan families need a break.”
The Official Opposition is calling for the Government of Saskatchewan to explore options to reduce fuel costs, including temporarily bypassing the fuel tax to soften the impact of rising costs at the pump and protect Saskatchewan families from the related and increasing costs of food, clothes, and other basic necessities.