Pain at the pump: Greater Victoria gas prices shooting up


WATCH: Gas prices are on the rise in Greater Victoria, jumping more than 10 cents/litre already and the price hikes are expected to continue. Tess van Straaten tells us what’s fuelling it.

Get ready to pay more to fill-up ? gas prices are on the rise in Greater Victoria and the pain at the pump is already a reality at some stations, which jumped from $1.31/litre to more than $1.42/litre on Monday.

Experts say there’s a shortage of gas on the west coast, which is fueling the price hike. The Burnaby refinery, the only one on the Lower Mainland, is closed for maintenance ? likely for several weeks ? and two key U.S. refineries are also shutting down.

“The Americans have announced two of the refineries we are relying on will be closed at the end of March for two to three weeks for maintenance so everyone is scrambling to find extra barrels of gasoline,” explains Dan McTeague, a senior petroleum analyst with is predicting that means a 12-cent-a-litre increase in British Columbia as the supply shortage comes just as spring demand starts to increase.

“They usually do this in January and February when demand is down and supply is plentiful and we’ve been dealing with this chronic, acute problem of not enough supply on the U.S. west coast,” McTeague explains.

Carbon tax and gas tax increases will increase the pain at the pump

It’s not just the price of gas that’s shooting up. In a few weeks, Greater Victoria drivers will be paying more in taxes with increases to both the CRD gas tax and the B.C. carbon tax.

“Where does it end?” asks Stan Stan Bartlett of the Grumpy Taxpayers of Greater Victoria. “There’s a lot of people and businesses that need gas to make a living.”

The carbon tax, currently just under seven cents/litre, will increase to almost eight cents a litre plus GST on April 1 and in Greater Victoria, the gas tax will also rise from 3.5 cents/litre to 5.5 cents/litre plus tax.

“Two cents (for the gas tax) doesn’t sound like very much, but guess what ? that’s a 57 per cent increase and that’s a lot!” says Bartlett. “Can you think of any other taxes that have gone up that much?”

Critics say the gas gouge means Victoria has the dubious distinction of having the priciest petrol in the country after Vancouver.

For a list of the lowest gas prices in Greater Victoria click here.

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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