On 24 March, 2020 Revelstoke has one of the highest gas prices in the province. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

B.C. expands gas price tracking to four communities this summer

Complaints of unfair pricing spurred the investigation

The B.C. Utilities Commission will be keeping a close eye on gas prices in four cities this summer.

The Fuel Transparency Act allows the commission to legally require companies to share specific retail pricing data, which the commission will then share on gaspricesbc.ca.

“Businesses have an obligation to be fair and not take undue advantage,” Energy Minister Bruce Ralston said.

The commission will collect data from June 1 to Sept. 30 from gas stations in Revelstoke, Powell River, Port Alberni and Squamish.

These municipalities were chosen based on the amount of public feedback that was received from those communities. The commission will also collect data from Langley and Nanaimo for comparison.

In March 2020, Revelstoke had one of the highest gas prices in the province at $1.17 per litre. According to GasBuddy, the average price for gas in the province at the time was $1.05 per litre.

READ MORE: Gas prices in Revelstoke one of highest in province

The collection and publication of the data is an effort to promote competitiveness and public confidence in the fuel market, however, the commission does not regulate fuel prices.

Ralston said he does not want to speculate on the outcomes of the investigation, but the act allows for some steps to be taken to ensure accountability and fairness.

MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke, Doug Clovechok, sent a letter in April demanding answers to the stark differences in gas prices within the constituency.

“Over the past month, Columbia River-Revelstoke, along with many regions across British Columbia, have seen a decrease in gasoline prices as a result of the low demand for oil around the globe,” Clovechok wrote. “On average, prices have fallen roughly 15 cents per litre. However, our region of the province has seen unusual fluctuations in gas prices that have my constituents rightly concerned.”

READ MORE:MLA Clovechok urging government to explain Revelstoke’s high gas prices

Today (June 15), the day the investigation was announced, Clovechok said he is pleased that the minister took action.

“Whether you live in Revelstoke, Golden, the Columbia Valley, or Kimberley, the people of my riding not only deserve answers, but deserve prices that reflect those found in other areas of the province,” he said. “I look forward to the [commission]’s report.”

The Fuel Transparency Act became law in November 2019, following an investigation by the commission that found a lack of competition and substantial markups on gas in the province, including a 10-13 cents per litre premium being charged that the industry was unable to explain.


 

@JDoll_Revy
jocelyn.doll@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Gas prices

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Smithers Community Radio buys Lions railcar

The Lions are liquidating assets following dissolution announcement

Northwest Indigenous governments form new alliance

Alliance intended as way to share resources, maximize opportunities

Bottle Depot volume doubles following closure

Judy Hofsink says she’s never seen it so busy

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. tent camps persist as hotels, housing bought for homeless

Current estimate 40 camps, homeless counts stalled by COVID-19

Most Read