Victoria – The Province has released terms of reference that will guide the British Columbia Utilities Commission’s (BCUC) investigation into what is driving high, volatile gasoline prices in British Columbia.
The final report is to be delivered by August 30 of this year.
The BCUC may exercise any of the powers provided to it under the Utilities Commission Act, including compelling oil companies as witnesses to explain their prices to the commission.
Through the review’s terms of reference, the BCUC has been asked to:
- examine the market factors that affect wholesale and retail prices in British Columbia;
- investigate gasoline price fluctuations, including the extent of possible competition concerns, such as price fixing and gouging;
- explain the difference in refining margins between British Columbia and the rest of Canada, including why in recent months refining margins for Vancouver were more than double the Canadian average;
- explain the difference in retail margins between British Columbia and the rest of Canada, as well as regional difference within British Columbia; and
- review the potential of regulatory measures used in other jurisdictions across Canada and North America to enhance transparency about how prices are determined.