Vancouver drivers react to rising gas prices

The B.C. government has increased the carbon tax by $5, sending gas prices up

Gas price displayed at Petro-Canada station in Richmond Tuesday. Photo by Nathan Gan
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Reported by Nathan Gan

Metro Vancouver drivers seem either dismayed by or resigned to their new reality as the price of gas rises in response to B.C.’s annual carbon tax increase.

The province’s carbon tax increased $5 per tonne on Monday, raising it to $40 per tonne of carbon emissions.

For drivers, that means an immediate increase at the pump. Gas prices in Vancouver Tuesday ranged from $1.50 to $1.59 per litre.

Annie Kwok, a driver who lives in Richmond, said increasing taxes on gas make her and her family worry about using the car for their daily needs.

“I heard that a lot of my friends and colleagues were rushing to fill their gas tanks on Sunday before the carbon tax day,“ Kwok said. “It intimidates me to think that I will have to specifically hunt for better gas [prices] in a different city.”

While some drivers panic, other more optimistic individuals like Sarah Altares look to a future where they rely more on public transit. “I mostly end up using the car for going to the gym or going to extracurriculars,” she said. “We’ve got a great bus and SkyTrain system in the Lower Mainland. We should use it.”

But not all drivers believe they can switch to green alternatives for transportation.

“In the end, I’m still gonna put up with the more expensive gas prices when they come,” said Frank Hung while filling up on gas at a Petro-Canada in Vancouver. “Summer is coming, and I don’t deal with heat well. I need my car to get to the places I need to go.”

According to the B.C. government, the carbon tax will increase each year until it reaches $50 per tonne by 2021. It says money raised from increasing the carbon tax will be used to provide carbon tax relief, protect affordability and maintaining industry competitiveness.

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