Money: ‘Hopefully we see a change’: Tourist town braces for summer of high gas prices - - PressFrom - Canada
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Money‘Hopefully we see a change’: Tourist town braces for summer of high gas prices

08:20  08 may  2019
08:20  08 may  2019 Source:   globalnews.ca

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" Hopefully we see a change in the gas price and it doesn't effect us , but if it does, for a little community like this it really hurts us ," Lemieux said. These rose again in August 2013 because oil prices hit a 15-month high that summer . Americans brace for higher summer gas prices | CBC

+ No one likes to pay more for gas . However, tourism communities in the B.C. Interior, including Sicamous, are worried the high price at the pump will actually keep their much-needed summertime customers away.

‘Hopefully we see a change’: Tourist town braces for summer of high gas prices © Megan Turcato / Global News Sicamous, which relies on tourism, is bracing for a summer of high gas prices.

No one likes to pay more for gas.

However, tourism communities in the B.C. Interior, including Sicamous, are worried the high price at the pump will actually keep their much-needed summertime customers away.

"If you fill up in Alberta, you might want to bring some jerrycans," said Sicamous councillor Jeff Mallmes.

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‘ Hopefully we see a change ’: Tourist town braces for summer of high gas prices . Tourism communities in the B.C. Interior, including Sicamous, are worried the high price at the pump will actually keep their much-needed summertime customers away.

‘ Hopefully we see a change ’: Tourist town braces for summer of high gas prices . Tourism communities in the B.C. Interior, including Sicamous, are worried the high price at the pump will actually keep their much-needed summertime customers away.

"I think that people, if they are considering the cost of the fuel, wouldn't come to any place in B.C."

It remains to be seen if the price at the pump will actually keep tourists away.

Some business operators don't believe they will see much of an impact, but others are uncertain about how the summer will go.

"Right now, we have about 80 per cent booked, but people are repeat customers, they've been coming for years," said Tia Lemieux who runs Sicamous Vacation Rentals.

Lemieux says so far her vacation rental bookings are normal and none of her customers have raised concerns about the cost of gas.

READ MORE: Safety expert tells B.C. drivers to think twice before grabbing gas from U.S.

"No one has complained yet but they haven't arrived either. They've got to get here....May long weekend will be the big one. We will see how it goes then. I haven't got many bookings yet for May long weekend and that might be one of the reasons," Lemieux said.

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High gas prices in Calgary a sign of the times, analyst says As of Friday, gas prices were up to $1.27 per litre at some Calgary gas stations, but an said those prices are “somewhat normal,” and caused by increased seasonal demand. "We're into that period in the spring and then early summer where typically we see prices on the rise and that's what's happening. There is increased demand," Parent said. Prices are about on par with what they were a year ago, Parent said, and like last year, they will probably edge up moving into the summer.

READ MORE: ‘ Hopefully we see a change ’: Tourist town braces for summer of high gas prices . Joly also fielded questions about chronic labour shortages plaguing the hospitality industry. “One of our main issues as well is affordable accommodation so we need staff to be able to manage our wine

‘ Hopefully we see a change ’: Tourist town braces for summer of high gas prices . Tourism communities in the B.C. Interior, including Sicamous, are worried the high price at the pump will actually keep their much-needed summertime customers away.

Councillor seeks explanation for high gas prices

The high price at the pump motivated Mallmes to look into the gas tax rates.

After crunching the numbers, the Sicamous councillor points out the difference between the carbon tax and provincial gas tax rates in B.C. and Alberta is less than four cents per litre, which doesn't explain the much higher prices to fuel up in British Columbia.

He'd like to see an explanation from industry.

Petroleum analyst Dan McTeague points out that when the five per cent sales tax is applied to higher B.C. gas prices, it creates a larger gap in the provincial tax rates.

However, McTeague said the issue in B.C. isn't one of price gouging, and while taxes play a role and in B.C. gas prices, the main issue is supply.

"You have a supply crunch in British Columbia. The infrastructure that carries gasoline from Edmonton, that brings in gasoline by barge from the United States and the small refinery that we have are all congested by the fact ... [that] the Trans Mountain Pipeline is badly clogged," McTeague said.

Gas prices drop unexpectedly on P.E.I.

Gas prices drop unexpectedly on P.E.I. Gas prices on P.E.I. dropped three cents per litre in an unscheduled price adjustment on Saturday, The minimum price for regular unleaded gasoline at self-serve outlets is now $1.31.1 per litre. There was no change in the price of furnace, diesel or propane. The Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission approved the gas price reduction as a result of a drop in the market price of petroleum. However, IRAC noted petroleum prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange are seeing volatile shifts with prices going up and down, and gas analysts expect this volatility to continue into the summer.

‘ Hopefully we see a change ’: Tourist town braces for summer of high gas prices . Tourism communities in the B.C. Interior, including Sicamous, are worried the high price at the pump will actually keep their much-needed summertime customers away.

‘ Hopefully we see a change ’: Tourist town braces for summer of high gas prices . Tourism communities in the B.C. Interior, including Sicamous, are worried the high price at the pump will actually keep their much-needed summertime customers away.

However, the province contends price gouging is at play in B.C. and said it's looking at its regulatory options including seeing if the competition bureau can step in "and bring some fairness back to the price people are paying."

READ MORE: Highest gas prices ever in a North American city are in B.C.

However, McTeague contends price regulation would be a mistake.

"There is a shortage and the only way you can resolve a shortage is ensuring you have adequacy of supply. To me? Build up inventory in Vancouver or widen that pipeline," McTeague said.

Back in Sicmaous, they are just hoping the prices don't keep the visitors away.

"Hopefully we see a change in the gas price and it doesn't effect us, but if it does, for a little community like this it really hurts us," Lemieux said.

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