Gas prices have been so high for so long that people are resorting to stealing it and stores are running out of locked gas caps in Mission.
Multiple people have posted on the Facebook site Mission BC and Neighbours about gas thefts.
The latest was on Orchid Drive in Mission with a Nissan Frontier sitting on the street with the gas cap hanging loose.
Another person posted on Facebook about their vehicle having its gas stolen just off Cedar Street.
“This is why many stores are running out of locked gas caps,” one person posted.
Gas prices in Mission are some of the cheapest around, hovering around $1.76 most of this week while other areas in the Fraser Valley are $1.85 and over $2 in Metro Vancouver.
Gas prices have been such a topic with people that then-Premier John Horgan was joined by Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth in March 25 to announce that drivers would receive a one-time rebate from ICBC of up to $110 for individuals and $165 for commercial drivers.
“Those prices at the pump are a direct result of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” Horgan said. “But British Columbians still need to move around. We have a robust public transportation network in our urban centres, but large parts of British Columbia still rely on single-occupancy vehicles to get around.”
Why is gas so expensive in B.C.?
Gas prices in B.C. are influenced by multiple factors at the provincial, national and global levels.
A good chunk of the price is made up of taxes.
This includes roughly 17 cents in provincially-set taxes, a 10-cent federal excise tax, GST, and a 17-cent TransLink tax only in Metro Vancouver. B.C.’s carbon tax will go up on April 1, adding another cent per litre of fuel.
That adds up to roughly 50 to 60 cents and doesn’t change as gas prices increase or decrease.
A much more influential measure is the ‘rack price’, or the price that retailers pay to oil companies Rack prices are posted online every day at 6 p.m. Rack prices are determined by the global price of crude, overhead costs, transporting refined oil and the refineries’ profit.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine sent global crude prices soaring and resulted in some drivers paying upwards of $2.20 per litre of gas in Metro Vancouver, despite the fact that Russian oil makes up a small fraction of Canadian energy imports.
B.C. gas prices have since dipped below the two-dollar mark, but they are creeping up again.
Distributors also pay a scarcity premium, which is higher in B.C. because of the high cost of transporting fuel to the west coast. B.C. receives a bulk of its fuel supply from the Parkland refinery in Burnaby, as well as from the United States.
An inquiry by the B.C. Utilities Commission in 2019 found that, on average, drivers in B.C. pay an “unexplained difference” of 13 cents more per litre than other provinces. Gas retailers are now required to report data to the government explaining the rationale behind fluctuations in prices to prevent gouging.
However, B.C.’s gas prices remain among the highest in North America.
– With files from Ashley Wadhwani