Since the beginning of 2019, gas prices have been rising and rising. With no signs of stopping anytime soon, it looks like high gas prices will be our reality for the next foreseeable future. For many Canadians, this is a sad and stressful reality. According to a new study, 1 in 3 BC residents surveyed were struggling to afford gas because the prices are so high. Some surveyed can’t even afford to pay for basic necessities once the tank has been filled.
A new survey conducted by Angus Reid Institute found that a large number of Canadian drivers are struggling to afford the high gas prices. BC has been the hardest hit Canadian province. According to the study, 9 in 10 drivers have noticed a "major increase” in prices.
Right now, BC drivers can expect to pay an average of $1.54 per litre. To put this into perspective, the highest average price of gas on record for BC was in 2008 at $1.47. This record-shattering $1.54 per litre is well over Canada's national average price of $1.30 per litre.
While this record is the overall provincial average, cities within BC are getting hit even harder and are paying well over the average. Cities like Vancouver are currently paying $1.70 per liter; which is the highest price in North America. Vancouver's prices even broke North American records earlier this year.
Gas prices have become so outrageous in many BC cities that 1 in 3 drivers are struggling to fill up, based on the survey by Angus Reid Institute.
The study even found that more than two in every five Canadians (44%) are claiming that the gas prices are making it harder to afford necessities.
Due to the rising prices, many BC residents have changed their driving behaviour. According to the study, more than 1 in 3 are reducing their daily driving while 1 in 4 are purchasing less gas. The study even found that some people are opting to use public transit instead.
In fact, a large majority, 71%, of BC residents have claimed to have changed their behaviour in some way or another over the past three months – higher than any other province.
In a different study conducted by Nanos, 60% of Canadians are considering spending more on a fuel-efficient vehicle to save money on gas prices.
According to GasBuddy’s Dan McTeague, prices are only going to get higher across Canada for the remainder of summer. This is, in part, due to the extra cost of 4 to 5 cents per liter to add additives to gas that prevent evaporation.
Gas prices have also risen due to the federal carbon tax that was introduced on April 1, 2019. While the Nanos survey found that 42% of Canadians believe the carbon tax is doing its part to encourage less fuel consumption, it is also inherently raising the price.
The Angus Reid study found that around 47% of BC residents are blaming oil companies for the rise in prices. Around 37% are blaming the government with the remaining 16% claiming economic market forces.
Right now, the cheapest place to get gas in Canada is Alberta with the average price of $1.22 per liter.
Be sure to check the GasBuddy website before you fill up your tank to find the cheapest gas station near you.