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‘Extremely painful’: Sky-high gas prices impacting B.C.’s transportation industry


For Mary and Konstantin Kleiner, who own a family-run moving and storing business in B.C., another surge in gas prices has hit particularly hard.

“It’s extremely painful,” said Konstantin. “I think we’re spending an extra $2,000 to $3,000 a month just on gas.”

And they're not the only ones whose ability to earn a living is being impacted

Uber driver Abdul Ahidarian tells CTV News he’s considering a new career.

“I don’t know what I should do,” he said. Despite working more than 10 hours a day, Ahidarian says he’s barely getting by.

“All day you’re driving for nothing,” he said.

On Thursday, gas prices in the Lower Mainland and Greater Victoria soared to 239.9 cents per litre. On Friday, the price went up again. Some stations in Vancouver were advertising a litre of regular for 241.9 cents, marking the second consecutive day the region set an all-time record.

Despite a slight dip Saturday, prices remained sky-high.

Analysts say the main cause for the recent spike in fuel prices in Metro Vancouver and beyond is a result of supply issues south of the border.

“The U.S. refinery production output on the west coast – so that’s Washington State, all the way down to California -- is down 15 per cent from normal,” said Dan McTeague, an analyst from Gas Wizard. 

“All we can hope is that some of the unplanned shutdowns that have occurred over the past several months get fixed very soon,” added Paul Pasco, principal consultant at Kalibrate.

But that's not the only reason. A recent price surge in ethanol, the impacts of Hurricane Ian, plus a weakened Canadian dollar have contributed to the cost of gas across Canada, analysts say. B.C., however, remains on average, the costliest place to fuel up in North America.

“Gas taxes are the highest, bar none,” said McTeague, regarding the cost to fill up in Vancouver.

Despite the near 50-cent, record-setting increase over the past month, McTeague does forecast a decline.

“We could be back to $2.15 or $2.20 likely by the mid part of October, unless some other unforeseen event takes place,” said McTeague. “And there have been a lot of them.”

Months ago the NDP government provided British Columbians with a one-time rebate meant to offset the surging costs. CTV News reached out to the province to inquire if another round of financial support is being discussed.

“I understand that these major fluctuations in prices at the pump are a real challenge for people,” read a statement from Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation.

The statement also cited “two ICBC rebates” and removing tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges as actions the government has taken to help drivers.

The emailed statement did not say whether British Columbians will receive additional support. Top Stories

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