A bill aimed at protecting Ontarian drivers has passed its second reading.

Timmins MPP Gilles Bisson reintroduced the NDP bill, Fairness in Petroleum Products Pricing Act, to regulate gas prices in August after it was denied by the former Liberal government last year. Bisson says this bill will allow the Ontario Energy Board to regulate the retail price and wholesale markup of petroleum products in Ontario. The Lieutenant Governor in Council will be given the power to govern the Board.

Bisson says we have to protect our people from gas price gouging because there is no reason why prices should be drastically different from northern Ontario to the southern region. He says heading down to Queen’s Park, “you leave Timmins and you pay $1.40 per litre and depending on where you are like in Cartier it’s $1.43 and there are places down to $1.27.”

“How do you explain that the gas prices along the same stretch of highway that the gas trucks pull the gas and drop it in the various tanks along the way and you have as much as a 15 cent, 20 cent differential just on Highway 144 and Highway 59.”

Bisson says the bill has been referred to the Legislative Assembly Committee. He adds that he will be working on getting the government to actually call the bill and start moving it forward. “So that we can have some public hearings, have the gas companies and others come before us, consumer groups, the CAA. That way we can talk about what in the bill needs to be changed and hopefully get the bill passed.”

“Consumers have to be protected,” said Bisson. “A mark of a good government is to protect the public.”