Gas prices not budging heading into new year

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Local area motorists ended 2015 still taking it on the chin at the gasoline pumps.

According to GasBuddy, the local price for a regular litre was more than two cents higher than the Dec. 31 B.C. average price, and three and half cents more than that price was at the start of this work week.

This despite the fact that at a 112.4 cents a litre, BC still has the highest provincial average in the country—and by a wide margin.

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It’s more than eight cents higher than the Quebec average, and it continues to be the only other province, with an average price above a dollar a litre, with the Gas Buddy monitor showing the three Prairie Provinces all with averages where they were at year’s end, below 90 cents a litre.

Manitoba is the low end provincial leader at 85 cents, with Alberta right behind it at 85.8 — and the same survey put the low end regional price on Monday morning at 77.9, at half a dozen Edmonton-area Costco outlets.

By comparison, the work week opened with the low end price in B.C., 14 cents a litre higher than that, and right where it was at the end of 2015, at 91.9 cents at the Costco in Prince George.

However, that was still 24 cents a litre lower than the common posted price in Fort St. John, of a 115.9, which was also 17 and half cents higher than the low end price of 98.4 in Dawson Creek.

In addition, you only had to get to the Alberta border to better the Fort St. John price by 32 and half cents, as the Gas Buddy post for the Fas Gas at Demmitt was 83.4 cents a litre.

In BC, the inflated provincial average is primarily due to fact that the largest cluster of filling stations is located in the greater Vancouver area — and at year’s end the prices there were running as high as a 139.9 cents a litre and yesterday, still 125.9, quite high.

Meantime, long gone are the days, when Canadian retail gasoline prices can be justified by the price of crude oil — which is still well below $40 a barrel U.S., and the American gasoline price average is still equal to about 52 cents a litre.

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