B.C. gas prices could rise to $2 a litre by end of summer, warn experts

·2 min read
A man in Vancouver fills up at a gas station on Saturday June 26, 2021 when prices hit $1.70 per litre. (Martin Diotte/CBC News - image credit)
A man in Vancouver fills up at a gas station on Saturday June 26, 2021 when prices hit $1.70 per litre. (Martin Diotte/CBC News - image credit)

As the cost of gas hit $1.70 per litre across much of Metro Vancouver this weekend, a marketing expert says prices could get even worse over the summer.

Simon Fraser University professor emeritus Lindsay Meredith says the pandemic is partly to blame for British Columbia's high fuel prices, as well as supply issues and provincial and federal taxes.

"In B.C., we're not going to dodge that kind of a high-priced bullet coming our way," Meredith said.

Currently, there is less oil being produced both overseas and south of the border. B.C. produces very little oil and relies on external markets. According to Meredith, COVID-19 seems to have resulted in less oil inventory in the United States, which, in turn, has made oil less available for Canadian use.

The recent spike in price is also because of the closure of a vital Washington State refinery according to an energy industry analyst.

Over the last month, prices have jumped from $60 to $74 a barrel.

WATCH: Vancouver residents react to prices at the pump:

Vancouver is currently experiencing the highest gas prices in North America, said president of Canadians for Affordable Energy Dan McTeague.

Experts like McTeague say taxation is also playing a role in high prices. The federal government taxes gas based on value, not just the number of litres. That means that more expensive gas is taxed more than lower priced gas.

Across the Lower Mainland a transit tax is also part of gasoline prices.

Meredith told CBC News that gas prices as high as two dollars a litre are not out of the question in the Lower Mainland by August.

"[The pumps are] going to be making a lot of noises with regard to revenue going into their pockets and coming out of ours," said Meredith.

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