Drivers on Vancouver Island are used to paying a premium for gas, but they’re not used to seeing far less expensive prices on the Lower Mainland.
According to gasbuddy.com, the lowest price on Southern Vancouver Island was 185.9 at the Centex station on the Malahat as of Tuesday evening, while the Super Save gas in Langley was selling a litre for 165.9.
The disparity is confusing, even to the experts.
“I might be able to tell you why you’re different from the rest of Canada. I can’t tell you why you’re different from the Lower Mainland,” says Associate Economics Professor Kent Fellows from the University of Calgary.
Fellows pinpoints the start of B.C.’s price problems to 2015, when refined product shipments were cut due to regulatory changes due in part to too much demand on the Trans-Mountain Pipeline.
“The result of that was over time, those volumes that used to move from the Edmonton area to the lower mainland have had to use alternate modes of transportation like rail and trucking,” says Fellows.
“The Lower Mainland has had to look to other more expensive marginal sources. It dates back to 2015 and keeps getting worse and worse.”
On Tuesday evening, the most expensive price per litre was the Esso station on Admirals Road in Esquimalt at 197.9.