EDITORIAL – Maybe we shouldn’t complain so much about gas rebates


An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

GIVING DRIVERS NOTHING to lighten the burden of high gas prices would have been politically smarter than the token rebates offered through ICBC.

Reaction to the $110 rebates ($165 for commercial drivers) has hardly been one of gratitude. Instead, drivers are grousing that it isn’t enough. True, it will barely pay for a tank of gas based on today’s prices at the pump, depending on what kind of gas-guzzler we drive.

And, the cheques won’t be in the mail for several weeks.

On the other side of the argument, non-drivers don’t think drivers should get any help at all. And, why should drivers of electric vehicles get the same gift as those with vehicles powered by fossil fuels?

So, who has Premier John Horgan pleased with this move? Absolutely nobody, it would seem.

The criticisms are accurate in that the rebates won’t make a noticeable difference to anybody’s budgets. We’ll fill up with that one tank of ‘free’ gas, and then we’ll forget about it.

Horgan’s talk of finding a solution to high gas prices certainly hasn’t resulted in anything much. We’re still at the mercy of the oil companies and, now, we have the added pressures caused by the invasion of Ukraine.

But maybe this is a time we shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Maybe we should take our $110 or our $165 and accept it for what it is — a small blessing, kind of like finding a shiny quarter on the ground or a prize in a box of popcorn.

The gesture is costing $395 million, which is no small piece of change. How many more millions or billions would have made us happy?

Let’s be real — Horgan won’t satisfy anyone until he finds a way to temper gas prices in the long term, and that isn’t actually going to happen. So, let’s just take our cheques and enjoy one trip to the pumps without complaining about what it’s costing us.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9370 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

6 Comments on EDITORIAL – Maybe we shouldn’t complain so much about gas rebates

  1. Maybe a little late to join the conversation but here it is. The Provincial tax on gasoline is 21c a litre. If my math is correct, the next 523 litres of fuel I buy will be 21c less thanks to the Provincial Government removing the tax. THKS John, I’ll put it to good use and hey, maybe take out a NDP membership.

  2. Mac Gordon // March 28, 2022 at 6:37 PM // Reply

    Coming on the heels of covid, we can afford $0. Can we stop bitching for a moment to think about how well we have it here in BC? We can make a very strong argument that we have it better than any other jurisdiction in the world, how greedy are we to complain that we want more? You don’t like that our gas is more expensive than Alberta’s, well let me ask you do you like that our covid death rate was 1/3 of Alberta’s? After a miserable 2 years can we stop and smell the roses and appreciate what we have.

  3. LADELE minifie // March 28, 2022 at 8:56 AM // Reply

    Horgan should have lowered the price at the pumps never mind giving a cheque for that small amount .My husband filled his truck up in Alberta for 1.56 a litre …..that was on Friday March 25th

  4. Does it matter? The money, whether generous or stingy, comes from the government’s only source…us.

  5. Ken McClelland // March 28, 2022 at 7:13 AM // Reply

    Pretty ridiculous that EV operators are getting the same rebate. Many EV purchases are subsidized in the first place, and EV operators currently contribute nothing to the maintenance of the roads we all use that ICE drivers pay to maintain through fuel taxes. Yet another subsidy already being received, along with the taxpayer-funded EV charging stations that seem to be springing up everywhere. EVs certainly make some sense in the Lower Mainland and southern Island, which not-coincidentally, is where most of the current government’s voter-base resides, but a fuel tax rebate disguised as an ICBC refund? Come on.

  6. Drive less, drive small, don’t idle unnecessarily, be wiser in general terms about the use of energy, walk more, cycle more.

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