NB premier defends provincial carbon legislation, says it protects small business

2 min read

New Brunswick’s premier is pushing back against claims that a piece of provincial legislation, rather than federal rules, is to blame for higher gas prices.

The province implemented a law last year to allow the cost of Ottawa’s clean fuel regulations to be passed on to consumers.

Premier Blaine Higgs said without the change, small retailers in the region would have to absorb the added costs, which could impact their revenues and jeopardize their ability to stay in business.

Critics say the province has allowed refineries to pass along costs at a time when they have recorded major profit gains and could afford to absorb some of the costs.

But Higgs says refineries can “always pass along whatever costs they need” and raising the maximum retail price reflects the true costs retailers face.

He says this ensures local businesses have adequate margins and “don’t risk being squeezed so hard financially that they risk closing.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 8, 2023.


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