The cost of living is surging for consumers on Vancouver Island

The cost of living is surging for consumers on Vancouver Island
CHEK News

It’s getting pricier and pricier to buy everything from gas to groceries on Vancouver Island, and experts say that’s not expected to change anytime soon.

Shoppers at the Royal Oak Country Grocer Wednesday told CHEK News they’ve noticed a difference in the price of goods.

“Practically everything I go to buy is going up,” said one shopper.

“Yes I have. They’ve jumped quite a bit,” said another.

And the change in how people are shopping is being noticed, according to Craig Cavin, an operations manager for the grocery chain.

“For the most part, a lot of people are just still shopping day-to-day. They might be buying a little bit less here and there. The average basket size might be going down, they might be a little more aware of what they’re purchasing,” he said.

According to Statistics Canada, shoppers are paying more for most items they buy at the grocery store as the cost of living goes up.

A round steak costs $3 more today than it did in January.

Four litres of milk is 36 cents more.

And one kilogram of oranges costs 31 cents more now than at the start of the year.

It’s not just groceries. Taking a ferry on and off Vancouver Island is going up too.

As of Dec. 1, BC Ferries is removing a fuel rebate from passenger fares due to rising fuel costs and changing market conditions.

And as pandemic restrictions ease, the global demand for products is surging. It all adds up to a cascade of rising prices, says Dr. Graham Voss, a professor of economics at the University of Victoria.

“It does reflect that we have faced some fairly severe transportation constraints and continue to do so, and will continue to affect the goods that are available to us,” he said.

Cavin said consumers will face even higher prices over the winter.

“That’s where our focus is going forward for sure. To try and keep these prices stable. Because we know it’s not just groceries, that everything’s getting more expensive, right?”

And consumers are keeping an eye on the prices as well.

“I generally hold off, if not, then I bite the bullet, and pay the price,” one shopper said.

WATCH: Grocery stores see unprecedented sales during COVID-19

 

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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