Gas prices spotted at a Maple Ridge gas station in April. (Black Press Media files)

Oil companies, 24-cent gap between B.C., Alberta to be focus of gas price probe

Premier John Horgan called the spike in gas prices ‘alarming’

Oil companies will have to explain their gas prices as part of an investigation into B.C.’s soaring costs at the pump, the province says.

In a Tuesday morning news release, the province said the probe will include “compelling oil companies as witnesses to explain their prices to the commission.”

Premier John Horgan had initially called for the investigation in a May 7 letter to the B.C. Utilities Commission.

In it, Horgan asked for the commission to find out why wholesale – and pre-tax – prices are 24 cents higher in Vancouver than they are in Edmonton.

Tuesday saw gas prices reach 171.9 cents for a regular grade litre in Metro Vancouver. GasBuddy reports Edmonton prices at just 114.5 cents a litre.

READ MORE: 50% of B.C. drivers struggling financially amid high gas prices, poll says

Historically, the letter said, wholesale prices have been 2.5 to four cents more expensive in Vancouver.

“British Columbians want to know why refining margins are so much higher than in other parts of the country,” Horgan wrote.

“In March 2019, refining margins for Vancouver were more than double the Canadian average.”

Tuesday’s release said the commission will investigate fluctuations in gas prices, possible price fixing and gouging, as well as details in retail and wholesale prices between Vancouver and other North American cities.

“The rapid increase in gas prices in B.C. is alarming, increasingly out of line with the rest of Canada, and people in B.C. deserve answers,” said Horgan.

“We asked the BCUC to conduct a fair, transparent and comprehensive independent investigation. These terms provide the broad reach it needs to find answers and give recommendations to inform the path forward.”

READ MORE: BC Hydro powering up for more electric vehicle charging demand

READ MORE: More gasoline, less bitumen in Trans Mountain pipeline, B.C. premier urges Trudeau


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Family Farm Day in the Alberni Valley goes virtual

Take part in a scavenger hunt for a chance to win a gift basket

LOOK BACK: Port Alberni’s first clocktower

Take a peek at Port Alberni’s history with the Alberni Valley Museum

QUINN’S QUIPS: Reconciliation is only as strong as its partnerships

Bamfield Road deal is an ideal example of the province working with First Nations

ARTS AROUND: Last chance to view First Nations art exhibit in Port Alberni

‘Together’ runs at Rollin Art Centre until the end of September

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read