oil and gas

We’re robbed and federal competition agency is silent

Gasoline is available today in Bellingham at US$3.05 a gallon. That is equivalent to C$1.04 a litre.

Sunday, gas reached C$1.60 in Vancouver, or $1.52 before GST.

BC gas taxes are 33¢ a litre in the lower mainland. In Bellingham, they are 18¢ a litre, which is 23¢ Canadian.

So, removing the impact of gas tax and GST, our American neighbours pay as much as 38¢ a litre less. That amounts to $23 for a 60-litre fill-up.

Based on average consumption, we suffer about $1,000 a year in excess charges for each vehicle. At the gas pumps, BC’s contribution to a more profitable oil industry exceeds $3 billion annually. It appears that collusion and lack of competition are main factors.

The Canadian government has a Competition Bureau, but it pays little attention to British Columbia. If you wish to complain, this is their contact page. They publish no email address and might prefer you communicate with them by carrier pigeon.


gas price 500

Categories: oil and gas

13 replies »

  1. I have been saying this for years, total ripoff, I live in Tsawwassen so never buy my gas in Canada. You would have thought if Big Oil wants to push through Trans Mountain, they would lower the price and make people happy,and be less angry about big oil, instead they want to rip us off for as much as possible and instead make me more angry at them. No, there is no shortage of gas for the lower mainland, its just a large lie, to make the sheep think that if the pipe line was built they would lower the price,, which anyone with a half a brain knows that is completley untrue.


  2. Interesting that when it looked like grocery stores hiked bread prices a bit, all hell breaks loose and the stores were forced to cough up $ to consumers. But when all the gas stations raise prices simultaneously…


    • Read about Canada’s Competition Bureau actions and they are rather few and far between. Nearly all focus on issues in the eastern half of Canada.


  3. we do pay for national health care though.
    Bellingham usually avg is 50 cent per liter lower-now and 6 monthe a go and a year ago


  4. I was at a public meeting with Elizabeth May in Duncan during the last Federal Election.

    She was asked about this problem and she said that she and the Federal Government had no authority to do anything about the price of gas and diesel.

    I believe that she was wrong then and wrong now!.

    Thanks Norm for all your good work.

    People have to start marching on Parliament and the Legislature and let the government know that the public will no longer allow multinational companies to rape and pillage Canadians.

    All the Best,




    • Having owned a gas station in Langley for over 20 years. We often fought with the big oil/gas companies to stop rigging the “rack rate”‘(buyer’s cost) so that we could obtain a fairer rate and then offer our customers a better price. Even our oil wholesale price was more expensive than we paid at our local London Drugs. The big corporate big-wigs just stack the prices and match each other so there is no fair competition. We then switched our brand to a local brand and could offer a bit of a better price. After two decades, We ended up closing the gas station and repurposed our land to become a strip mall with a two keystone restaurants as our leasees.
      I too buy my gas in USA now.


  5. Gas prices too high, well what would one expect, government does not represent the people, government represents big corporations.


  6. This spring and summer, I’ll be in Abbotsford in the evenings once a week, a time when crossing the border at Sumas can be as quick as a one-car wait. After exchange, I’m paying $1.07 per litre for regular fuel. At least one Sumas station gives 80¢ U.S. per Canadian dollar. It’s about an 8 km detour from Abbotsford, which I’m glad to do if the price difference is so big and the wait is bearable.

    Notably, the price per gallon varies up and down the main drag, Cherry Street. Not something you see in the Lower Mainland.

    I’ve been carrying a Gerry can or two each time and as a result have only spent about $10 on Canadian fuel since March. Apparently Canadian border agents COULD charge taxes on the portable gasoline but they haven’t tagged me yet.

    I’m doing my part to leave more fuel for Lower Mainlanders who can’t get easily get across the border to buy the fuel before it is trucked into Canada — and I encourage others to do the same.


  7. I was in PEI last summer.
    The last day of the month there were lineups at the local gas stations….?
    What gives?
    Apparently the Province regulates gas prices. The major companies have to lobby the govt EACH MONTH to justify their prices.
    The govt raises or Lowers the prices each month….and they announce their intentions several days before the end of the month….
    That month the prices were expected to increase an few pennies per liter.
    PEI gas rates today ?
    About $124.0/litre


  8. In BC’s Lower Mainland we pay the highest motor fuel taxes and levies in Canada.
    Our taxes and levies are then used to subsidize the oil companies.
    The oil companies plan a six-week refinery shutdown every spring for maintenance and a switchover to blend a different gasoline for the summer driving season.
    The oil companies, the Canadian Prime Minister, the Premier of Alberta, and BC’s Official Opposition leader all say the solution is to build a new pipeline to ship more Alberta crude to Asia for refining because it will also allow Alberta to ship more refined gasoline to the coast as well.
    But this article says inventory is increased in advance of the refinery shutdown so there shouldn’t be any supply issues.
    BC’s Premier John Horgan says the pipeline represents an unacceptable threat to the environment because of the increase in tanker traffic in coastal waters. He suggests building refineries here. The Official Opposition leader rejects the idea outright. Both of their current stances are 180 degrees opposite to what appeared here on page 15 just a few years ago.
    It’s very apparent that no matter what evolves from this roiling mass of duplicity and complicity, one thing will remain constant. The hosing at our end of the hose.
    Incidentally, my understanding is that the existing pipeline compartmentally ships various products from Alberta, including refined gasoline, light crude (which local refineries utilize), and the diluted bitumen that is shipped elsewhere for refining. Does anyone know why, if the local refineries are shut down for maintenance and presumably can’t use the light crude, the ratio of refined product and light crude being shipped from Alberta isn’t adjusted to ship refined gasoline and help out with the purported shortage being blamed for the spike in prices?


  9. One would think that with the power of the much vaulted social media some enterprising soul would organise a boycott of one brand of fuel for a week say around the May 21st weekend and than watch how fast the price would come down.
    It will take only one of these thieving bastards to break and run and than their house of cards would crumble.
    The consumer is king and if our pussy Canadian drivers would band together for once the gouging would change really fast.


  10. As I understand it, Kinder Morgan will more than double it’s toll on the product that is being piped from Alberta to the West Coast. I wonder how much of that oil is pumped to the U.S. refineries in Wash. State through the branch line that splits at Sumas (between Abbotsford and Chilliwack)?


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