Squamish MLA Jordan Sturdy is urging the government to do more to regulate pricing at the fuel pumps.
A news release issued on Oct. 24 stated that in a legislative session, the representative for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky said that high gas prices are driving up the cost of living for people.
Sturdy said that despite lower fuel taxation rates than neighbouring communities, consumers are forced to pay the same or more at Sea to Sky gas pumps.
“Overpricing of fuel is really just taking money that could be productive to residents of the Sea to Sky, and taking it out of their pocket,” said Sturdy during the legislative session. “Money that people could be investing in their homes. People could be investing in their community and their health. And it just gets sucked out of the region. Why? Because the fuel companies can.”
Residents are frustrated and are asking the government to take action as high costs of living and housing prices continue to make life increasingly unaffordable, he said.
Sturdy said the NDP government’s current approach is not working, and those living in the Sea to Sky corridor need relief soon.
The BC NDP government has investigated pricing throughout the province and has concluded that during its report's study period, Squamish was paying significantly less tax at 39 cents while Vancouver was paying 52 cents. On the other hand, Squamish stations were taking an average of 20 cents in their retail profit, while Vancouver stations only took five.
Back in 2021, the BC Utilities Commission confirmed that gas prices in Squamish are high despite lower taxation. The town was listed as having one of the highest average gas prices among a group of 11 communities.
At the time, Energy Minister Bruce Ralston told The Squamish Chief the commission’s report shows Squamish gas retailers take a significantly higher retail margin than those in Vancouver.