If the threshold of the homeowner grant can be adjusted then so can natural gas costs.

THAT didn’t take long.

The ink hadn’t even dried on the assessment notices sent out to Lower Mainland property owners when the provincial government rushed out its announcement that it was raising the threshold of the homeowner grant.

The threshold, which is when the homeowner grant would no longer be available, was $1.2 million last year and now it will be $1.6  million.

“The strength of the province’s economy and sound fiscal management have put us in a position to raise the threshold by such a large amount this year to help home owners,” explained finance minister Mike de Jong in a press release.

But if the province can adjust the homeowner grant threshold then it can surely address something else that’s also important to personal finances – the extraordinary high cost of delivering natural gas from Vanderhoof to the coast through the Pacific Northern Gas pipeline.

The problem is that large-scale industrial customers using natural gas have disappeared, leaving residents and other smaller-quantity users to shoulder the entire cost of maintaining the line. It means paying three times the rate to deliver gas that natural gas consumers pay on the Lower Mainland.

If the province can recognize high assessment values on the Lower Mainland and take action, it can do the same when it comes to gas delivery rates in the northwest by adjusting the homeowner grant.