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‘Painful summer ahead:’ Gas prices reach 211.9 in Metro Vancouver, expected to rise

Click to play video: 'Fuel costs may keep summer plans close to home'
Fuel costs may keep summer plans close to home
It's supposed to be a summer of more freedom, as B.C. transitions into an endemic. But rising prices at the gas pumps might put an end to some of those trips before people are even out of the driveway. John Hua reports – May 4, 2022

One gas analyst predicts a “painful summer ahead” for Lower Mainland residents as domestic and international factors continue to drive an increase in the cost of gas.

The price at the pumps reached 211.9 per litre at many Metro Vancouver stations on Wednesday, as the European Union proposed a phased embargo on Russian oil.

Click to play video: 'Gas prices 211.9 a litre in some places'
Gas prices 211.9 a litre in some places

“The crisis in Europe has really put in very sharp perspective the need for more natural gas from alternative sources,” said Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy.

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“The fact that you’re at 211.9 at many stations here in the Lower Mainland and in Vancouver, is really indicative of what’s happening regionally, globally with respect to oil prices.”

Read more: Here’s why the European Union might find it tough to phase out Russian oil purchases

The price per barrel for American crude oil surged to more than $106 per barrel on Wednesday. The diesel stock is also running thin in many parts of North America, said McTeague.

Summer is the “worst time for fuel,” he added, meaning sustained price increases of up to 225 per litre are likely in the coming weeks. McTeague runs the predictive website, gaswizard.ca.

“That looks like what’s in the cards over the next several weeks, especially post-the May 24 weekend, the United States Memorial Day weekend, and the beginning of summer driving.”

Click to play video: '“Stop Russian oil”: Activists play dead to demand embargo on Russian energy'
“Stop Russian oil”: Activists play dead to demand embargo on Russian energy

The Canadian dollar is struggling, McTeague added, which has aggravated purchasing power and will likely result in British Columbians flocking south of the border for cheaper gas.

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“Of course, it doesn’t help that Vancouver continues to be home to the highest taxes on fuel anywhere in North America,” he explained.

“I don’t think there are many options other than going to other jurisdictions further out that don’t have the additional taxes — in this case, the TransLink tax, which is 18.5 cents a litre.”

Read more: Gas prices in Toronto-area surpass record high, could rise further this week: analyst

 

In March, gas prices set records in Vancouver at 214.9 per litre, fuelling a trucker protest — unrelated to the convoy that occupied Ottawa, wreaking havoc on the downtown core.

At 211.9, Donald Hui, who owns an RV, told Global News it costs him between $500 and $600 to fill the tank. He bought the RV last year so his family could spend time together during the pandemic, but said he might not have if he had known what was coming.

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“I would change my mind maybe. Now, no choice,” said the Maple Ridge resident.

Plans to take the vehicle across the province are now dashed, he added, and he may not even go as far as Whistler.

“I like Whistler because it’s more interesting, there’s more restaurants to go to, but I won’t spend $200 to $300 in gas, I find it’s a little bit too much.”

Editor’s Note: This story was updated from a previous version that incorrectly stated the price of gas in March was 114.9, rather than 214.9.

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