Paterson's Perspective by Duck Paterson

Paterson’s Perspective: Once again, Islanders are getting hosed at the gas pump

Duck Paterson’s take on Vancouver Island’s high gas prices

It’s interesting how things change and sometimes how they stay the same, like folks getting hosed at the gas pump!

The whole world is still agonizing through the COVID-19 pandemic, the US is on the verge of imploding, our Canadian federal government is running the country further and further in the hole, and now the oil companies are sticking it to us again.

In January 2020 the price of a barrel of oil was $56.58 and today the price is $52.20. Over the period of a year, the price has fluctuated quite a bit, but ended up $4.38 less at the start of 2021 than a year ago. That is almost 9 percent less than it was a year ago, but just in the past weeks the local gas stations (run by the large oil companies) have raised the price of a litre of gas by by over ten cents. Their product is costing them less but they are charging the poor working stiff more, what the hell is that all about?

In May of 2019 the provincial government directed the BC Utilities Commission to explore the prices of gas and diesel prices in B.C. and provide advice back to the government. When the BCUC gave their report back to the government one of the items stated that “there is a significant unexplained difference of at least 13 cents per litre in wholesale gasoline prices.” Yup, it says unexplained! It also stated that the “wholesale market for gasoline in B.C. is not truly competitive.”

According to the Victoria Capital Daily news next to the lower mainland, Islanders are paying the highest gas prices in Canada. These unwarranted increases, done strictly by greed, will also affect the cost of goods we use every day. There’s a countless number of transport or delivery trucks on the highway every day, and while they all mostly use diesel fuel, when there is an excessive increase in the price of gas it applies to diesel as well and that gets passed along to the goods you purchase. On an aside, when the BCUC was given the task to initiate the “Gasoline and Diesel Prices Inquiry” looking into the taxes on gas and diesel was mandated by the provincial government not to be part of their report. So much for an independent inquiry.

Isn’t it odd how all the gas companies can charge the exact same for a litre of gas? I would love to hear from Mr. Horgan his explanation of how Shell’s cost per litre can be exactly the same as Chevrons, whose are exactly the same as Co-Op and so on but we don’t need to go any further into looking at collusion! The Shell station sells a Coffee Crisp chocolate bar for $1.89 while the Co-op sells it for $2.49 but their gas is exactly the same?

Will we be hearing anything back, from Mr. Horgan, on the stifling of the economy by the fuel companies hugely greedy increases? I doubt it.