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

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Sunflower Highway, art initiative to connect Fraser Valley, Thompson-Nicola and Okanagan

Sunflowers made out of reclaimed materials will be installed on public art trails

Residents warned to stay away from flooded Cache Creek park

Water might look shallow, but is several feet deep in places

Ashcroft receives grants to get new hot tub and lift station

‘The hot tub is a major benefit for many residents’

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Most Read