Gas prices hit new record highs in Metro Vancouver twice in one day

Click to play video: 'When will there be relief at Metro Vancouver gas pumps?'
When will there be relief at Metro Vancouver gas pumps?
WATCH: Metro Vancouver gas prices have hit all-time highs, and are now among the highest ever in any major North American city. Jill Bennett reports on how long it will last, and whether prices could go even higher – Apr 12, 2019

Brace yourself, drivers, gas prices are breaking records again.

Just as predicted, prices at the pumps hit another all-time high in Metro Vancouver early Friday morning, with some stations in Burnaby jumping to $1.68.9.

It got even worse later that day, with prices in White Rock seen one cent higher at $1.69.9. The same price was also reported in other cities within the region, marking the highest price ever seen in any North American city.

That’s after record prices of $1.67.9 were recorded in Coquitlam last Thursday.

WATCH: (Aired April 4) Catherine Urquhart reports on the record gas prices in Metro Vancouver last week

Click to play video: 'New record gas prices at Metro Van pumps'
New record gas prices at Metro Van pumps

Petroleum analyst Dan McTeague said Friday the sky-high prices will be here for a while, as Metro Vancouver competes with the entire U.S. West Coast for gasoline south of the border.

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That’s being complicated by the shutdown of six refineries in Washington state and California.

“We just don’t see any price movement here at least until Wednesday,” McTeague said. “That means the high prices in Metro Vancouver are going to linger for four or five more days. No change tomorrow. No change Sunday.”

That doesn’t mean the prices are that high everywhere, with some stations in municipalities like Maple Ridge and Abbotsford posting prices 20 cents cheaper per litre.

While that may be driving business, McTeague said the sales strategy will ultimately hurt those stations in the long run.

“I like to use the term “#GasBarShenanigans,” he said. “Those gas bars that are selling for $1.48, I mean good luck to them, but they’re buying their gasoline wholesale.

“I would recommend every driver fill up there, because sooner or later, they’re going to get a call from their bank saying, ‘Losing eight, nine cents a litre, it can’t be replaced by selling volumes of beef jerky or whatever they’re selling in the store.'”

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Political ramifications

Prices have been white hot across the Lower Mainland in the wake of B.C.’s carbon price hike on April 1, which added an extra cent to every litre of gasoline.

When asked about the rising prices at a press conference Thursday, Premier John Horgan said provincial taxes aren’t to blame, and think the public agrees.

WATCH: (Aired April 9) Alberta UCP Leader Jason Kenney threatens to cut off B.C.’s gas supply

Click to play video: 'Alberta UCP leader Jason Kenney threatens to cut off B.C.’s gas supply'
Alberta UCP leader Jason Kenney threatens to cut off B.C.’s gas supply

“I think the travelling public absolutely understand that the issue here is not taxation specifically,” the premier said. “It’s about a cumulative impact of a whole host of issues, but at the root of it is significant increases in the price going to providers, not going to government.”

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There are also fears that prices could rise again in the wake of the provincial election in Alberta, where presumed front-runner and UCP Leader Jason Kenney has vowed to “turn off the taps” of gasoline to B.C. if he’s elected premier.

Horgan says his government would likely win any court challenge that stems from Kenney following through on his threat.

In the meantime, he told reporters he would look to get more gasoline from refineries in Washington state. That won’t work, McTeague said Friday.

“They don’t have additional spare barrels of gasoline and if they do, they’re going to charge a lot more than what they’re charging now,” he said.

“It’s nice to think that way but I would have to think the way you want to look is towards the Asian-Pacific markets — that’s where you’ll find additional barrels of gasoline but it will cost a lot more.”

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