Some east end community members welcome Premier Doug Ford’s extension of the gas and fuel tax to the end of 2023, but worry it could prevent funds going to deserving programs.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that people save money on gas, but cutting that little amount is a disservice to stuff like healthcare and education,” said Pauline Adde, a member of Danforth-East York-Woodbine Community, a Facebook group with more than 18,000 members.
Adde said the tax money could be a tremendous help in sorting out the ongoing problem of medicine shortages and packed hospitals. It could also be a boost for schools, helping meet wage demands and filling students’ needs, she said.
“Even though we would save money, it’s probably like around 50 cents every trip,” Adde said. “That money could be used to help the city out.”
“The prices on other things will just go up,” said Adrian Talbot, while pumping gas at a local Esso gas station on Danforth Avenue.
Talbot said he felt he spent more since the gas tax cut extension, due to inflation. He mentioned going to the grocery store during the last couple of months and finding the prices of many items have gone up. The costs of many dishes in restaurants have also risen, he found.
“This no-tax idea could be a thing to blind the public from other stuff getting more expensive,” Talbot said.
Average gas prices in Toronto
The average price for gas in Toronto for 2021 was $1.42 per litre, according to the Canadian Automobile Association. By this October it reached $1.60 per litre, reaching a high of $1.77 for one day.
The cuts bring gas taxes down by 5.7 cents per litre and fuel taxes by 5.3 cents per litre. The plan was announced earlier this year to take place from July 1 to Dec. 31. With the extension it will run until the end of 2023.
Ford announced the plan was to help people save money.
$195 saved per family
“At a time when inflation has reached the highest levels in over four decades, we know families are feeling the pressure from rising prices on everything from gas to groceries,” Ford said in a news release put out by Ontario.ca on Nov. 13.
It was also reported in the release that families would save on average $195 between July 1 and the end of 2023.
“To continue providing real relief, our government is proposing to extend the gas tax cut for another year to put more money back in peoples’ pockets where it belongs,” Ford said.