British Columbia

Gas prices hit 169.9 cents in Metro Vancouver

The highest reported price at the pump Friday was 169.9 cents per litre in White Rock — six cents above the historic high of 163.9 cents set last year.

Litre of regular at a Petro Canada in White Rock was a fraction below $1.70 Friday morning

The price of a litre of regular at this Petro Canada in White Rock, B.C., was $169.9 on Friday morning, breaking last year's record by six cents. (Submitted)

Gas prices hit record levels in Metro Vancouver on Friday, believed to be due, in part, to this week's increase to the provincial carbon tax.

The highest reported price for regular Friday was 169.9 cents per litre in White Rock, where gas is full-service — a full six cents above last year's high of 163.9. Other self-serve gas stations in the region were selling gas for one cent less.

B.C.'s carbon tax went up from $35 to $40 per tonne this month, adding an additional 1.1 cents to the per-litre price of gas — a price already inflated because two of the four refineries in Washington state that supply the province have been shut down, leading to a cinched supply.

"We're not the only ones starting to see record prices," said gas analyst Dan McTeague, citing sky-high prices in California. "We are in new territory and I suspect, for most people, the pain at the pumps will continue."

Werner Antweiler, a business professor at the University of British Columbia, said the additional taxes and higher prices could have locals searching for alternatives to gas-powered vehicles. 

"People will eventually start buying more fuel-efficient vehicles as a result of high fuel taxes — whether it's a carbon tax or any other fuel tax," he said earlier this week.

Another 1.5 cent per litre price increase is expected on Canada Day, when TransLink's regional fuel tax rises from 17 cents to 18.5 cents per litre.

With files from CBC Radio-Canada

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