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Vancouver has highest fuel prices and highest fuel tax in North America, expert says

Click to play video: 'Carbon tax increase hits gas prices'
Carbon tax increase hits gas prices
WATCH: The most obvious effect of Monday's carbon tax increase in B.C.'s is at the gas pumps. As Rumina Daya reports, while critics are blasting the increase, the NDP government is standing firm – Apr 1, 2024

The biggest and most obvious effect of the carbon price increase on Monday is at the gas pumps.

Prices in Metro Vancouver rose to $2.019 a litre on average Monday morning, with the carbon tax increase accounting for about three cents of that jump.

Dan McTeague, with Canadians for Affordable Energy, said about 82 cents of that price is federal and provincial taxes.

“All of those factors combined lead … Vancouver to having the distinction of not only being the highest prices for fuel anywhere in North America, but also the highest-taxed jurisdiction for fuel,” he said.

B.C. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman said the government knows residents are struggling and that’s why they are introducing the BC Hydro credit and investing in housing.

“We’ve lowered ICBC rates, we’ve eliminated medical services plans premiums, we’ve dropped personal income taxes by $3,000 a year for a family of four earning $100,000,” Heyman said.

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However, he added, they know British Columbians really care about climate change.

“Record low snowpack this year (is) going to lead to drought, it’s going to affect agriculture. People went through two of the worst wildfire seasons in history in the last three years; that’s driving insurance payments up,” Heyman said.

“We have to stay on the steady course and B.C.’s carbon tax has proven to be the most effective and least costly measure that we can take to fight climate change since 2008.”

Click to play video: 'Carbon price protesters take to B.C. highways'
Carbon price protesters take to B.C. highways

To offset the tax, about 65 per cent of British Columbians will qualify for a tax credit, but that means roughly 35 per cent will not.

The amount received will depend on your household’s net income and the size of your family.

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A single person taking home less than $39,000 will get the maximum credit of $447 a year.

Payments are reduced for a single person until around $61,000 when the credit becomes zero.

For couples and parents, the household net income threshold is roughly $50,000 for a full tax credit per family member.

Heyman said that while not everyone is eligible for the rebate, those who are need it the most.

“The gas taxes go to support public transit and roads,” he added.

“Those are important to British Columbians, too.

Click to play video: 'Contentious B.C. carbon tax hike kicks in April 1'
Contentious B.C. carbon tax hike kicks in April 1

However, Vancouver resident Gregory Byrne told Global News he thinks Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is responsible for inflation and his government has not handed the carbon tax correctly.

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“I think the parliamentary budget officer said it when he agreed that it was going to be an adverse outcome for all of Canadians,” Byrne said.

“Secondly, I think it’s going to put food and fuel costs higher, which are affecting the traditional working person. I think that’s going to depress the economy, and I think it’s harder for us to survive.”

— with files from Rumina Daya

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