British Columbia

B.C. premier to consider 'relief' from record-high gas prices

John Horgan says his government will monitor prices at the pumps over the summer after they reached the benchmark record of nearly $1.64 a litre Thursday in Metro Vancouver, but he also suggested provincial taxes aren't the only factor affecting prices.

John Horgan says provincial taxes don't fully explain big leap in price

Gas prices hit record levels in Metro Vancouver on Thursday. (CBC)

Premier John Horgan says the B.C. government will consider "some relief" for those who can't afford record high gas prices.

Horgan says his government will monitor prices at the pumps over the summer after they reached the benchmark record of almost $1.64 a litre Thursday in Metro Vancouver, but he also suggested provincial taxes aren't the only factor affecting prices.

He says he can't explain a 12 cent a litre increase and perhaps the industry should invest more in refineries and the federal government should invest more in supply.

Dan McTeague, an analyst at GasBuddy.com, says there are several factors at play, but chief among them is a shortage of gas across the province and northwestern United States caused by two refineries in Washington state running at reduced rates.

British Columbia's carbon tax also increased to $40 a tonne on Monday, which is double the federal carbon tax introduced in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick — provinces that did not previously have any carbon tax in place.

The effect is a 1.2 cent per litre bump at the pump.

Horgan says the provincial government will monitor prices through the summer and if there's an opportunity to step in and help, it will do so.

"But at this point, I'm hopeful there will be some correlation between the commodity price and retail price. Those are issues that are market driven and out of my control," Horgan says.

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