Alberta is looking to bring in some form of relief for high gas and energy prices in the province, as prices at the pump balloon.
Premier Jason Kenney hinted at the move during a press conference in Calgary.
“Higher utility prices and now much higher gas prices are eating into people’s wallets and ability to pay the bills,” Kenney said. “What we are experiencing right now is not normal.”
Kenney pointed to the province’s budget, which based oil prices in the $70 to $75 range when it was created in December and January. Prices have now shot up by around 40%.
“I have directed the minister of finance to work with the minister of energy to come forward quickly with a plan to provide consumer relief for the growing gasoline prices, we want to make sure that as the Alberta treasury receives additional royalties from these higher prices, that some of that is passed on to consumers,” Kenney said.
He added that the province will be developing plans over the weekend, and anticipates more details will be given early next week for immediate relief to gas prices.
“We are looking at a whole range of options, one of which could be a potential cut in the gas excise tax. The reality is we can’t undo the global forces that are pushing up the price. But the Alberta treasury does benefit, so we think we may have the capacity to provide some type of relief.”
Kenney warned the relief may not be noticeable once the federal gas price increase occurs on April 1.
According to the latest daily pump price survey from Kent Group, gas prices in major cities across Alberta are all above $1.50 per litre.
Regular gas in Edmonton sits at $1.534 per litre, Calgary is at $1.564 per litre and Lethbridge is $1.563 cents per litre.