Quebec Standard

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Legault banishes plans to cease Quebec gas tax amid increasing price


Key takeaways: 

  • Premier restated plans to use March 22 funding to give out cheques to taxpayers.
  • Premier François Legault is ruling out the thought of stopping the gas tax to face increasing fuel costs.

Increasing fuel costs in Quebec: 

Quebec Premier François Legault stated Tuesday that while he realizes inflation is striking families hard, he has no purpose of freezing rates or lowering the regional gas tax in the subsequent provincial funding, as Conservative Party of Quebec leader Éric Duhaime is asking for.

At a press conference in Longueuil, Legault reiterated his intention to use the March 22 budget to hand out cheques to taxpayers, saying details will be released when the funding is tabled, along with other efforts to help with the rising price of living. 

“I see the opposition offering freezes: freezing hydroelectricity [rate] growths, freezing rents, drawing gasoline taxes,” he said.

“I think if we do that, it implies we would be aiding those who consume more,” he said.

Also read: Quebec anti-racism minister feels sorry after saying Black artist was dead at awards

Legault dismisses tax

Earlier that day, Duhaime called on the regional government to follow Alberta’s lead and temporarily pause the local gas tax to help put more cash in Quebecers’ pockets.

“We have never spent so much for gas,” said Duhaime, guiding to a “remarkable increase” driven by Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The situation in Alberta, however, is very different.

A similar break-in in Quebec would deny the government of significant income. In contrast, Alberta has seen considerable growth in the royalties it collects for the oil removed on its territory since the cost of a barrel of petroleum has increased.

These royalties had grown steadily from one percent, when oil was selling at $55 each barrel, to their desired peak of 9 percent since the cost reached $120 per barrel.

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