Vancouver-area drivers paying near-record prices for gas again

Gas in the Vancouver area is up over the $2-mark again, with some stations charging near-record prices.

Advertised prices at some stations, including in Port Moody and Coquitlam, were up to 211.9 cents per litre on Wednesday morning.

If they continue to climb, the prices could break a record.

The highest per-litre rate seen so far in the region was 214.9.

While Canadians further east have complained about the cost in their cities, B.C. drivers are still paying the most, according to a heat map on a gas-price-tracking website. This is with the exception of residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, where the average is between 204.6 and 210.8 for the entire province.

GasBuddy.com's data suggested, however, that of the entire country, the average prices in Metro Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast are the highest, at 207.6 and 209.9.

Metro Vancouver drivers able to head a bit east to fuel up may pay a few cents less per litre in the Fraser Valley, according to the site.

In Victoria, GasBudy has the average price for the region hovering a couple cents below the $2-mark.

As for why the prices are so high, experts and B.C.'s premier have largely blamed the conflict in Russia-Ukraine for a trickle down impact felt across the globe.

Experts too said that oil prices and ongoing supply issues are factors when the price starts to go up.

And a carbon tax increase took effect in April in British Columbia, bringing that tax up to 11 cents. According to the province, this adds up to about 2.2 cents per litre

One energy expert told CTV News there’s another major factor at play.

“The main cause for this is refineries,” said Vijay Muralidharan, senior analyst for Kalibrate Canada.

"Summer driving season has begun in the U.S., which de facto means that refineries are going to charge a premium to produce gasoline,” added Muralidharan.

He says what’s also hurting B.C. is the provincial government not giving residents a fuel tax break last month, something that was done in both Alberta and Ontario.

"The average Canadian pays 50 cents per litre in taxes, people in Vancouver about 59 cents per litre.”

Offering a bit of a break to drivers for high prices earlier this year, Premier John Horgan announced a $110 rebate for most drivers insured in the province. 

That money is expected to be delivered this month or next.