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.
“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.
“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.”
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.”
Extreme cold one day, balmy the next: Alberta’s yo-yoing temperatures a literal headache for many
Bank of Canada hikes interest rates half a percentage point to 4.25%
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.
“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.”
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.
“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.