As Canadians find some relief at the pump, travellers across B.C. are still shelling out cash, with some of the highest gas prices in the country.
Even though some places in B.C. have dipped below the $2 marker in recent weeks, with a provincial average of $199.2/L, remains high.
According to the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), a leading North American supplier of energy data, 94 of the top 100 most expensive gas stations in Canada can be found in B.C., according to data from July 20.
OPIS is what BCAA uses to calculate its provincial average, with the company using credit card data to access almost instantaneous pricing from the pump.
Esso in Masset, Haida Gwaii currently has the highest price in Canada, at $248.0/L. Norman Wells in the Northwest Territories comes in second, at $240.9/L.
The top ten is rounded out by Langley Shell ($232.9/L), Vancouver Shell (two pumps at $230.9/L), Delta Shell and Powell River Shell ($229.9/L), North Vancouver Shell ($229.4/L), Aldergrove Chevron ($228.9/L), Surrey Shell ($228.4/L), New Westminster Shell ($225.9/L) and Garibaldi Heights Petro Canada, Powell River Vanderkemps and Powell River Chevron ($224.9/L) rounding out tenth place.
Typically gas prices tend to be grouped geographically. For example, four of Ontario’s seven most expensive stations are located in Windsor. In B.C., high gas prices are scattered throughout the province.
While Vancouver and its surrounding municipalities do account for a number of the most expensive stations in the province, many names in the top 20 are in varying locations, including Valemont, Prince Rupert, Lytton, Cache Creek, Revelstoke and Golden.
The continued high prices have sparked debate in Golden and Revelstoke, as prices fall in neighbouring towns. Both communities are tied for the fourteenth priciest in the country, at $219.9/L.
Doug Clovechok, MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke, has been aware of the gas price difference between Revelstoke and Golden and its neighbours for some time and is actively searching for answers.
Clovechok and Revelstoke Mayor Gary Sulz have been in conversations with the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) since November 2021, but even now have received no concrete answer.
He added that he believes the provincial government has the ability to, and indeed should, lower the cost of gas provincially by reducing taxes. Clovechok said that it’s important they ease the pain of his constituents in places like Revelstoke and Golden who are already feeling the pressures of inflation and the rising cost of living.
“You can’t tax yourself into prosperity,” added Clovechok.
B.C. is known for having amongst the highest gas prices in Canada, which can be attributed to a number of factors.
A high amount of taxation contributes to the high prices, with those fuelling up in B.C. outside of Vancouver and Victoria paying 61 cents per litre in tax, according to the 24th Annual Gas Tax Honesty Report that was published in May of this year. That breaks down to 28 cents in carbon tax, 10 cents in federal excise tax, 9 cents in federal sales tax and 14.5 cents in Provincial excise tax.
The more remote the community, the more that can drive up prices as well, according to the Canadian Gas Association.
The national average is $183.5/L as of July 16.
To help save gas, BCAA recommends planning for shorter drives, minimizing the use of air conditioning and lightening your load to not carry extra weight which can burn extra gas.
Fast accelerations can also burn up to 37 per cent more fuel, says BCAA, so lighten the lead foot and slow down to save gas. Having a full tank of gas can also help.
A well-tuned and up-to-date car will also help keep your gas use low.