Mr. Speaker, I would like to update Members on some recent activities of the Department of Public Works and Services with regards to fuel prices in communities served by its Petroleum Products Division.
Recent changes in the market have seen oil prices go from all-time highs to record lows over the past year. This current market pricing has provided the Petroleum Products Division with an opportunity to lower its costs and pass on these savings to residents.
The lower wholesale prices for fuel have made it possible to pass savings on to residents now, during the peak of the winter heating season. Mr. Speaker, on Monday February 2nd, the Petroleum Products Division dropped the price of heating fuel the price of heating fuel in all 16 communities that it serves.
Those reductions included an 8 cent per litre decrease in the communities of Łutselk’e, Wekweètì, Jean Marie River, Wrigley, Tulita, Fort Good Hope, Délįne, Tsiigehtchic, Paulatuk and Ulukhaktok, while the communities of Whatì, Gamètì, Nahanni Butte, Trout Lake, Colville Lake, Sachs Harbour received a 9 cent per litre decrease in heating fuel.
With our winter resupply underway, the Department expects that further reductions to the price of heating fuel and future reductions to the price of gasoline are possible in the coming months should current market prices continue.
Mr. Speaker, lowering the cost of living for NWT residents is a priority for our government. While dramatic shifts in the international market for oil has made it possible to pass on savings to residents, we cannot rely on prices staying low. We still need to be looking for long-term ways to reduce energy costs.
Energy efficiency and alternative energy solutions offer a stable, longer term solution to living in the North. Through its other programs, the Department of Public Works and Services will continue to advance our goals as a government to reduce our costs and dependency on imported diesel.
I am encouraged that as a government we continue to look at all ways to reduce the high cost of living in the NWT. I am pleased that we are able, when the market allows, to provide some much needed relief in our smaller communities during the peak of the heating season.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.