Gas prices becoming an election issue
MONTREAL (CP) — Prime
Minister Paul Martin says he will raise the issue of sky-high
gasoline prices at an international summit next month but couldn’t
promise Wednesday that his efforts would be reflected at the
pumps anytime soon.
With enraged motorists threatening to make gasoline prices
the sleeper issue of the federal election campaign, Martin
said he will discuss the issue June 6 to 8 at a G-8 meeting
in the United States.
‘‘We’re dealing with an international situation
here,’’ Martin said after making his second of
three hospital tours in two days as part of his save-medicare
‘‘I intend when I’m at the G-8 meeting in
Georgia, to raise with my counterparts — the heads of
state of the other G-8 countries — the necessity of really
asking OPEC to increase production.’’
‘‘Fundamentally, we are very, very concerned about
But there was no hint of a quick fix on fuel prices, with
Martin saying only that he has asked the federal and provincial
competition bureaus to examine the possibility of collusion
among oil companies.
Gasoline prices have approached $1 a litre and the Conservatives
have proposed eliminating the GST on prices above 85 cents.
Martin has rejected the idea and repeated Wednesday that he
would use the projected $230-million federal tax windfall from
rising gas prices to pay for hospital equipment.
The prime minister was touring yet another hospital after
his $9-billion-plus medicare promise Tuesday that is the central
policy plank of his campaign.