The price of gas jumped more than seven cents in Princeton on April 30, 2020. Photo Andrea DeMeer

South Okanagan mayor protests ‘gouging’ at the gas pumps

“Enough is enough.”

That is what Mayor Spencer Coyne has to say about gas prices in Princeton B.C.

Coyne launched an online petition April 30, demanding government and oil companies address what he calls “gouging” of local residents and travellers through town.

The petition states.

“Rural B.C. gets hit the hardest when it comes to gas prices.

Urban areas further away from the same bulk plants that rural communities get their fuel from pay more at the pump.

Rural B.C. in the BC Southern Interior pays prices comparable or higher than Vancouver, with a 51 cent tax for transit.

At the time of this poll [April 30] Vancouver gas price is 82.9 and Princeton is 107.9 in Osoyoos gas price is 93.9.

Princeton is 114 km closer to the bulk plant in Kamloops than Osoyoos. Princeton is paying 14 cents more per litre and Princeton is paying 25 cents more per litre over Vancouver where they have more tax per litre.

Rural B.C. does not have the same transit options as urban areas.

Rural B.C. uses more oil and gas to fuel logging, mining, ranching and farming over urban areas.

Rural B.C. should not be paying more than urban areas. No more gouging Rural British Columbia. We demand equality at the gas pumps.”

Related: Gas prices continue to rise in the Central Okanagan

The petition is not an official municipal initiative, said Coyne, rather his response to the situation as a citizen.

Gas prices have been an issue in Princeton for at least two decades, he said, with four competing gas stations normally selling at the very same price.

“Tell me how that works.”

He said he understands the prices are not set locally by managers or owners, but rather by their corporate offices.

“Let’s make it clear it is not the attendants’ fault.”

In addition to hitting residents in the pocketbook, gas prices literally drive people out of town.

It’s not unusual for people to buy “just enough gas to get to Penticton,” said Coyne, where they can fill their tanks cheaper and end up doing the rest of their shopping.

“Rural B.C. is the heart of the economy of the province of B.C. By gouging us you are hurting the economy of B.C.”

The Spotlight has reached out to two oil companies and attempted to speak with local gas station workers.

Related: Gas prices to see dip of eight to 10 cents across much of B.C.

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

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