Get those wallets ready, the price of gas is going up

“How far do you want Canadians to bend over?” asked Tom, a downtown Victoria local.

“It’s getting ridiculous,” said Victoria resident George.

In Greater Victoria, the price to fill up is hovering around 144.9 per litre, and it’s only going to get worse.

“Victoria will break records, no doubt about it,” said gas analyst Dan McTeague with GasBuddy.

The highest recorded price for gas was set last year, at 155.9 per litre, but this current gas gouge is expected to be worse.

“This is going to be an expensive year,” said McTeague.

The current high prices are being triggered by a supply crunch from our neighbours down south.

“Two refineries in Washington State are offline, not completely, but a lot of their gasoline production is down for spring maintenance and it’s impinging on us because we import a lot of our gasoline directly from the United States,” said McTeague.

U.S. refineries provide a third of the lower mainland and the Island’s gasoline. But when the biggest refinery in Washington is back up in mid-April, experts say it won’t change much.

“It’s not likely that even with those refineries coming back online, that we’ll see a big decrease, rather the contrary,” said McTeague.

“Because taxes have gone up, that’s sort of compounded the issue with carbon taxes.”

In April of last year, B.C.’s carbon tax went up 1.2 cents per litre, and the increase has left islanders, mixed.

“Well the Carbon tax is a cash grab, that’s pretty obvious. So, that’s my opinion,” said Helen.

“People should pay for it to be encouraged to use other alternative modes of transportation,” argued Steve, who bikes everywhere in the city.

Also keeping prices high: stations are also starting to shift from their winter stock to the more expensive summer blends. And the high prices at the pump have people wishing they were elsewhere.

“I think it’s horrible that we have to pay that much more than the rest of Canada,” said Donna.

“Oh it’s stupid, I wish we were like Alberta. I think it’s like 30 cents less or something,” said Raymond.

And many say we’re paying the price of not having enough fuel, in our own backyard.

“The Trans-Mountain pipeline could bring in additional gasoline at much cheaper prices from Edmonton, but as we know that existing pipeline is plugged so we’re stuck until someone can wave their magic wand and come up with a solution,” said McTeague.

Prices are expected to exceed 1.50 per litre late next week and hover there likely for the rest of the summer.

Kori Sidaway