When the BC Government found, through a report by the BC Utilities Commission, that BC gasoline customers were being gouged at the pumps by 13 cents per litre on the price of gas in southern BC compared to the rest of the Pacific Northwest, the Sunshine Coast Labour Council believed that change was coming. Unfortunately, this government did not have the will to stand up to the oil companies and regulate gas prices as is done in the Maritimes. They, instead, decided to do nothing.
During the short time that gas gouging was in the news our local gas stations kept their prices below those in the Lower Mainland. That changed as soon as the news did and now our stations have kept their prices well above those in Vancouver, even though the taxes are lower here. On Feb. 10, gasoline was readily available in Vancouver for $1.35 per litre. In Gibsons it has been steady for weeks now at $1.40.
The Sunshine Coast Labour Council continues to object to the high price of gasoline and has the will to stand up for citizens. We are asking the public to stand with us and not buy gasoline on the Coast if they can avoid it.
Even when gasoline prices are higher in the Lower Mainland, it is better to buy it there, and have seven cents go toward the transit tax (because most of us use it at least occasionally) rather than into the pockets of the greedy oil and gas companies. (The Lower Mainland pays an extra 12.5 cents per litre in transit tax, but after the cost of shipping gasoline to the Coast, we estimate that the gas companies are making an extra seven cents per litre from us here – even if the price was the same as the Lower Mainland, which it is not.)
We recently protested at all three gas stations in Gibsons. There was lots of community support. We will continue to object and protest the high price of gas on the Sunshine Coast for the foreseeable future.
Sunshine Coast Labour Council