The Parti Québécois wants a competition bureau to monitor the actions of oil companies

The Parti Québécois (PQ) wants to break up the “cartel” of the oil companies which it accuses of “theft and fraudulent acts”.

The sovereignist opposition party is calling for the creation of a Quebec Competition Bureau, which would investigate and could impose millions of dollars in fines.

“The Federal Competition Bureau is not playing its supervisory role and the current spike in gasoline prices at the pump is reaching indecent proportions because there is no competition,” according to PQ leader Paul St. -Pierre Plamondon.

“We’ve known Canada’s Competition Bureau has been a bad joke for years,” he said in a phone interview broadcast Sunday. “The oil companies’ scheme has been known for a long time, it’s a grand theft. It is a fraudulent act to inflate prices by fixing margins with other oil companies… It is a substantial impoverishment of Quebec families.

A potential Quebec Competition Bureau “would have teeth,” according to St-Pierre Plamondon, and full investigative powers with criminal penalties and fines of up to millions of dollars.

“There must be a price to pay for the oil companies, the punishment must be severe,” he said.

ELECTRICAL CHANGE

In addition, the PQ believes that this is the right time to settle Quebec’s long-term dependence on oil and the electrification of the car fleet must be accelerated since Quebec can count on hydroelectricity.

St-Pierre Plamondon said the CAQ government “lacks leadership,” since Quebec’s current targets for electric car sales are far below those of other provinces or states.

Last fall, only 9.5% of vehicles sold in Quebec were electric, while the proportion of electric vehicles sold in France is around 25%, 34% in Germany and 60% in Sweden, indicated the head of the QP.

Even the targets of the Minister of the Environment Benoit Charette, which aim for 12.5% ​​by 2025, are largely insufficient, estimates the PQ.

“The new goal is very, very, very, very, very modest,” he said. “It’s really just a lack of leadership on the part of the CAQ.”


— This Canadian Press report was first published in French on March 13, 2022.

Martin E. Berry