On Thursday night, March 30/23, in Salmon Arm BC the gas prices were $1.499 per litre at various stations including Super Save Gas. In Calgary, the prices were in the low $1.40+ range. BC has much higher taxes on gasoline than Alberta, particularly since the UCP Government eliminated the 13 cents per litre of gasoline taxes and there should be at least a 28.8 cent per litre spread in gasoline prices between the 2 provinces, but that is not the case in many areas.
In the BC interior, the gasoline tax is 28.81 cents per litre (reference: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/taxes/sales-taxes/publications/mft-ct-005-tax-rates-fuels.pdf). Gasoline taxes in Alberta are zero (reference: https://www.alberta.ca/about-tax-levy-rates-prescribed-interest-rates.aspx#fuel).
Technically, from a free-market perspective, there should be no less than a 28.8 cents per litre spread in gas prices between the two provinces but that does not exist generally (see Gas Buddy BC prices https://www.gasbuddy.com/gasprices/british-columbia).
There is a corporate oligopoly market problem in Alberta that has, in part, been created by the United Conservative Party (UCP) Government which is allowing gasoline/oil companies to gouge Albertans on gasoline prices.
To eliminate gasoline price gouging by the oligopoly oil/gasoline companies, the UCP should bring back the gasoline taxes and perhaps just give gasoline tax rebates to those who are poor.
Either that or an excessive “greedflation” profit tax should be put on these companies and redistribute the wealth back to the people in need. Wealthy people do not need a break on gasoline taxes in Alberta like the poor who drive primary economy cars.
Giving wealthy people tax breaks on gasoline just encourages more use of the toxic brain health-damaging fuel rather than encouraging clean electric or hydrogen vehicle use or the use of public transportation.
The UCP’s elimination of gas taxes is extremely bad environmental stewardship and increases cancerous pollution in urban areas.
The elimination of gasoline taxes is clearly having an effect on the maintenance of Alberta roadways as roads are crumbling under the UCP government and are in the worst condition ever in this century.
One just has to drive the Trans Canada Highway to Banff or Deerfoot Trail in Calgary to feel how bad the roads are getting under the UCP Government.
The UCP is just politically deferring road maintenance to make the government books look better than they actually are and giving all Albertans a temporary gasoline tax break election gift that likely cannot be sustained, particularly when oil prices drop again.
by James Kohut
James Kohut has over 10 years of experience working on pipelines as a pipeline surveyor, along with other oilfield work experiences going back to 1980. He was trained at SAIT in Petroleum Technology Geology. Kohut now works as a ground crop farmer at his own small, hobby farm located in B.C. along the mainline railway routes. He farms during the summer months and lives in Calgary for the rest of the year.