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Atlantic premiers call for delay to clean fuel regulations amid rising prices

Gas station

Gas prices are up around the Maritimes Friday. Prince Edward Island saw a five cents per litre jump to $165.6, with a similar story in Nova Scotia -- nearly seven cents -- and six in New Brunswick.

That’s dampened the travelling spirit for some.

“I’ll be staycationing around the Atlantic provinces,” said Chris Downey.

On July 1, the new federal clean fuel regulations are set to come into effect, along with a jump in the carbon tax that could mean a more than 10 cents per litre increase on P.E.I. alone.

In response, the Atlantic premiers have called for a delay in the program after a meeting with the federal minister of environment earlier this week.

The premiers say it disproportionately affects Atlantic Canadians.

“We're already dealing with a high cost of living,” said P.E.I. Premier Dennis King. “We have a lot of factors that are working against us, and we can ill afford to see a higher price paid by Islanders, or Atlantic Canadians, at the pump."

King said the premiers' meeting with the federal minster went well, and he promised to review the policy and respond to their concerns within the next two weeks.

The measures have already been delayed by seven months, but one advocacy group wants to see them dropped altogether.

“Unfortunately, the federal government just doesn’t seem to get it on this,” said Jay Goldberg, interim Atlantic director for the Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation (CTF). “They seem to think they are going to go forward come hell or high water, but this is going to cost a heck of a lot for hard-pressed families.”

CTF estimates the new regulations will cost the average Islander an extra $500 a year by 2030.

Iit’s not yet clear if the Atlantic region will have to face this increase in July, but what is clear, it looks like the price of fuel is, at least for now, heading up. Top Stories


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