Gas prices jump 11 cents in Greater Victoria, more price hikes expected
VICTORIA -- If you are planning on hopping in your car and travelling this summer, it’s going to cost you a lot more than it would have on Monday. The price at the pump has jumped by 11 cents a litre in Greater Victoria.
Chris Pahl was filling up his new SUV at a local gas station on Tuesday.
“When I filled this last time, it was under $70," said Pahl. "It’s $85.50 today."
In Greater Victoria, drivers are now paying $1.62 a litre.
“It’s gouging,” said Fred Kirke, who was filling up on Tuesday.
“It’s definitely a bummer,” said Kelly Beattie, who was in a similar position.
“Why are we paying $1.62 a litre?” said island resident Brian MacDonald. “It’s crazy.”
Dan McTeague is the president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, and he says he can explain the reason for the huge increase.
“We’re seeing a response to a shutoff of a FCC -- fluid cat cracker is the technical term -- at the refinery at Phillips 66 in Ferndale (Wash.),” said McTeague.
According to McTeague, that shutdown in Washington state has created a supply crunch in the Pacific Northwest. All the while, demand for fuel south of the border is ramping up.
“It may seem like we are not out of our lockdowns yet, but they are in the United States and their economy is revving up, as is demand,” said McTeague.
If an 11-cent jump hasn’t gotten you down, maybe this will. In April of last year, the price of gas on Vancouver Island was 84 cents a litre. That was when we were heading into the thick of our COVID-19 restrictions.
Kris Sims is the B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, and she has done some math. She says 162.9 cents a litre can’t be blamed completely on the refinery’s shutdown.
“Sixty-one cents of that is taxes,” said Sims.
We pay a provincial excise tax, a federal excise tax, and in Victoria we pay a transit tax and sales tax.
“And of course here in British Columbia we have two carbon taxes,” said Sims.
Eye-popping gas prices in B.C. are not a new issue.
“Clearly there is something wrong with the gas market here in British Columbia,” said Premier John Horgan in November 2020.
In 2019, the province completed an inquiry into gas prices in the province. The reports findings questioned the competitiveness of the gas market and also determined that B.C. drivers likely overpaid nearly half a billion dollars for fuel. The review was told not to look at provincial taxes.
CTV News reached out to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation but did not get a response by deadline on Tuesday.
Looking into the future, brace yourselves. Analysts predict another three-cent jump by Thursday, and gas could reach 170 cents a litre by the end of summer.