Originally published on the DaninOttawa.com site on August 5, 2011.
I am getting a fair bit of feedback from upset motorists who are unhappy with current gas prices. As much as we often like to blame gas companies we also have to remember that both the Provincial and Federal Government also take a fair share of tax revenue from gasoline.
Not only are these monies reinvested back into our transportation network, they can also positively affect our economy, increase safety or in some cases, add to local amenities.
A recent example of this is an $8 million dollar investment to create the first four lane passing section on Highway 97 between Osoyoos and Oliver. Gas tax revenues are also distributed back into local communities to fund other worthwhile projects. Another such example, is in the unincorporated community of Okanagan Falls where gas tax funds helped to create a waterfront park and beach area with handicap accessible walking paths.
In this most recent four lane highway opening I was happy to attend with Boundary Similkameen MLA John Slater. This project also provides a secondary road that helps promote the local fruit-growing industry and increases public safety by keeping tractors off the highways as well.
Another added bonus is a great hiking and cycling path that offers a terrific view of a Ducks Unlimited natural area. It is a positive project for the area that also helps to support the local economy.
To be clear, I am not for a moment defending current high gas prices. In fact former Industry Minister Tony Clements has invited stakeholders from the oil and gas companies to appear in Ottawa to explain gas pricing practices to Canadians. While this event has yet to occur I do plan on sharing this information once available directly here on my blog. That said, I do believe it is important to recognize that fuel prices are in part inflated as they contain government taxes that are used to help fund infrastructure and with the introduction of gas tax revenue sharing with local government, important projects within our communities.
For the Penticton Western News story on the new passing lanes, click here.
In addition to his weekly MP Report. the Dan in Ottawa blog is another resource for residents of Okanagan-Coquihalla. Chronicling Dan’s personal experiences as he travels to Ottawa and throughout the riding as your MP.
For more information about Dan Albas, click here.