Gasoline prices in Metro Vancouver set to hit new high

Analyst says he expects regular gasoline prices to hit $2.50 a liter this year

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The pump pain — and grocery shopping, dining out and seemingly everywhere else — is far from over, prompting British Columbians to change their routines and scramble to find creative ways to cut costs.

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One analyst said he expects regular gasoline prices to hit $2.50 a liter this year.

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“It all depends on what happens south of the border,” said Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy. He said refineries in the Pacific Northwest are “running at 10-year lows.”

Fuel prices affect everything from delivery costs to food prices – much more than just increasing the cost of what you pay at the pump.

Hoa Chung, who leads the Happy Thyme Cafe at the Musqueam golf course, said she had reduced deliveries and started picking up food for the restaurant herself.

“I have some time to shop around,” Chung said, as she loaded groceries into her car outside the superstore on Grandview Highway. “It saves a little money, but it takes time.”

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So far, she has managed to avoid passing costs on to customers, fearing losing customers. But soaring food prices have made the task difficult.

Chung said what she paid for cooking oil had more than doubled, from about $25 for 16 liters before the pandemic to $52 now.

“It’s very difficult for a small business like mine,” Chung said.

At the gas station outside the nearby supermarket, Gip Mar said he and his wife were exploring ways to cut their fuel costs. He was trying to walk more and his wife recently bought an electric bike.

“I like to think about how I can adjust my lifestyle in a way that’s actually healthy for you,” he said. “I learned to drive less.”

He acknowledged that not everyone can change their lifestyle that easily.

“There are people who have families,” he said, “or their budgets are already stretched.”

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The rising cost of living is one of the top three reasons new customers sign up for the food bank, according to Cynthia Boulter, chief operating officer at the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

“It could be, ‘I can’t keep up with rising inflation. I can’t keep up with gas prices,'” she said.

Boulter said the food bank is registering 1,000 new customers every month. It has affected all kinds of people, from families to seniors and more.

Before the pandemic, Boulter said the food bank served about 1,500 seniors a month.

“We see 2,500 to 3,000 a month now,” she said.

On top of that, Boulter said the food bank’s running costs have also increased.

“We have a fleet of refrigerated trucks, and our suppliers are all sending us notices” that prices are going up, she said, adding that costs have gone up “quite noticeably.”

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Boulter said cash donations are the most effective way to support the food bank.

“Our buying power is on average two to one,” she said. “We buy it locally and we buy so much.”

The recent crisis has also extended to the digital world.

Signups for TooGoodToGo, an app that fights food waste, have grown steadily since the app launched in Vancouver in 2021.

“When we launched, there was a lot of interest from sustainability and environmental groups and people motivated by the issue of food waste and loss,” said Sarah Soteroff, public relations manager for TooGoodToGo. “We now hear a lot more about people looking to lower their food bills.”

She said because the app launched amid the pandemic in Vancouver, their data shouldn’t suggest inflation-related trends. Data from Europe, however, where the app has been running since 2016, clearly indicates that there has been “a huge increase in downloads and active and paying users over the past two years,” she said. , which coincided with post-pandemic inflation.

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According to a recent BMO survey, fewer Canadians are confident they are making financial progress this year compared to last year. The decline in confidence is particularly marked in Vancouver where confidence has fallen 10 points to just 14%.

By comparison, in Toronto, confidence fell five points over the same period. In Montreal, it remained unchanged, with 43% of respondents feeling confident in their financial situation this year.

Mar pointed out that this isn’t the first time subway residents have had to change their ways due to forces beyond their control.

“Do you remember when the buses were on strike? Everyone has learned to adapt,” Mar said. “I’m in that kind of mentality, trying to adapt to the situation.”

  1. Gasoline prices in Metro Vancouver are expected to continue to climb at least through Sunday, possibly reaching $2.34 per litre, according to price watch website Gas Wizard.

    Gasoline prices in Metro Vancouver are rising again and are expected to continue to rise

  2. How much do you spend on gasoline for your daily trips?

    Fuel calculator: how much do you spend on fuel each day?

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Joan J. Holland