While Canadians are finding some relief at the pumps, travelers across British Columbia are still shelling out cash, with some of the highest gas prices in the country.
Even though some places in British Columbia have dipped below $2 in recent weeks, with a provincial average of 199.2¢/L, that’s still high.
According to the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), a major North American provider of energy data, 94 of the 100 most expensive gas stations in Canada are in British Columbia, according to July 20 data.
OPIS is what BCAA uses to calculate its provincial average, with the company using credit card data to access near-instant prices from the pump.
Esso in Masset, Haida Gwaii, currently has the highest price in Canada, at 248¢/L. Norman Wells in the Northwest Territories is second at 240.9¢/L.
The top ten is completed by Langley Shell (232.9¢/L), Vancouver Shell (two pumps at 230.9¢/L), Delta Shell and Powell River Shell (229.9¢/L), North Vancouver Shell ( 229.4¢/L), Aldergrove Chevron (228.9¢/L), Surrey Shell (228.4¢/L), New Westminster Shell (225.9¢/L) and Garibaldi Heights Petro Canada, Powell River Vanderkemps and Powell River Chevron (224.9¢/L) rounded out tenth place.
Generally, gas prices tend to be grouped geographically. For example, four of the seven most expensive train stations in Ontario are located in Windsor. In British Columbia, high gasoline prices are spread across the province.
Although Vancouver and its surrounding municipalities have a number of the most expensive resorts in the province, many of the top 20 names can be found in various locations, including Valemont, Prince Rupert, Lytton, Cache Creek, Revelstoke and Golden.
Persistently high prices have sparked debate in Golden and Revelstoke, as prices plummet in neighboring towns. The two communities are tied for the fourteenth most expensive in the country, at 219.9¢/L.
Doug Clovechok, MPP for Columbia River-Revelstoke, has known about the gas price difference between Revelstoke and Golden and its neighbors for some time and is actively seeking answers.
Clovechok and Revelstoke Mayor Gary Sulz have been in talks with the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) since November 2021, but have yet to receive any concrete response.
He added that he believes the provincial government has the ability to lower the cost of gasoline provincially by lowering taxes, and should do so. Clovechok said it was important they eased the pain of his constituents in places like Revelstoke and Golden who are already feeling the pressures of inflation and the rising cost of living.
“You can’t impose yourself in prosperity,” Clovechok added.
British Columbia is known to have some of the highest gasoline prices in Canada, which can be attributed to a number of factors.
A high amount of tax contributes to high prices, those filling up in British Columbia outside of Vancouver and Victoria pay 61 cents per liter in tax, according to the 24th Annual Fuel Tax Honesty Report. essence which was released in May this year. This breaks down into 28 cents in carbon tax, 10 cents in federal excise tax, 9 cents in federal sales tax and 14.5 cents in provincial excise tax.
According to the Canadian Gas Association, the more remote the community, the more it can also drive up prices.
The national average is 183.5¢/L as of July 16.
To help save gas, BCAA recommends planning shorter trips, minimizing air conditioning use, and lightening your load so you don’t carry extra weight that can burn more gas.
Fast accelerations can also burn up to 37% more fuel, BCAA says, so lighten the lead foot and slow down to save gas. Having a full tank of gas can also help.
A well-tuned and up-to-date car will also help reduce your gas mileage.
British ColumbiaGasoline PricesGoldenRevelstokeVancouver