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We’re gouged at the pumps too

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You can’t blame people living in Northwestern Ontario for being just a little unsympathetic towards last week’s uproar in the centre of the known universe—Toronto—that was sparked by the big jump in gasoline prices.

The masses in southern Ontario suddenly were paying about the same price we face at the pumps, and they didn’t like it. And of course, when a couple of million people are up in arms, the hue and cry generally gets a government’s attention.

Now Consumer and Commercial Relations minister David Tsubouchi is calling on the federal government to appoint a “special prosecutor” to look into gasoline pricing.

Evidently, outrageous gas prices in Northwestern Ontario, even along the well-travelled Trans-Canada Highway, didn’t warrant such a response.

Granted, those in more isolated areas like ours, with fewer motorists, should expect to pay a little more for gas. But it’s upsetting when our cries of “foul” are only met with deaf ears.

And the situation is all the more galling now that the Harris government is making northerners start paying the vehicle registration fee again, which had been abolished by the former NDP government to compensate for the higher price of gas here.

It’s not surprising, then, that hearing Premier Harris vow to go after the oil and gas companies rings rather hollow up here when, at the same time, he’s squeezing every penny possible from northern motorists.

Something should be done about high gas prices in Ontario but surely it isn’t too much to expect that we also should benefit from any drop.

Or do those of us up here in the hinterland not warrant a second thought, as usual.

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