Gasoline prices are setting new records and Chilliwack council is asking the Competition Bureau to investigate. (Black Press Media)

Chilliwack council asking Competition Bureau to investigate gas prices

City councillor says ‘I think it’s fair to say we are being hosed’ here in the Lower Mainland

Council is firing off a letter to the Competition Bureau of Canada to investigate the fairness of rising fuel prices in Chilliwack.

Gasoline prices have been hitting the same sky-high levels as those in Metro Vancouver of late, which has raised some eyebrows.

“I think it’s fair to say we are being hosed here in the Lower Mainland,” Coun. Chris Kloot said.

Kloot led the charge at the April 16 council meeting, asking for, and getting rest of council to agree to send a letter to the Competition Bureau from the mayor’s office, asking officials to investigate the “ongoing and real concerns” local reps have about the retail and wholesale pricing formulas for gasoline between the two jurisdictions.

“I, and I’m sure many others within the community, have some serious concerns about the rising cost of gas in our community,” Kloot said by way of introduction.

When he raised the issue in council chambers, Gas Buddy had Metro Vancouver prices at between $1.56 and $1.639 per litre, with a surprisingly similar range of $1.57 per cent to $1.589 per litre across the Fraser Valley.

The $1.699 per litre rate was a North American record of any major city, and White Rock saw $1.709 per litre on April 16.

“How is it even remotely possible that we, who are not part of Metro Vancouver where they have a 17-cent-per-litre Trans Link tax, are paying very similar prices?” Kloot asked rhetorically, adding that he wondered if Chilliwack was therefore “subsidizing” Metro Vancouver’s transit system.

He said the situation was made even more “bizarre” by having a provincial government taking the federal government to court over the new pipeline, and a new Alberta majority government threatening to turn off the taps.

“In the meantime, we as consumers are going to keep paying more,” Kloot said. “We’re not even in the summer driving season yet and we have the highest prices in North America in this region.”

He spoke to his motion after putting it on the floor, adding he said it looks like something is going on the pricing, and he hopes it was not “collusion” but it had to be investigated.

READ MORE: Premier says spike gas prices not about taxes

READ MORE: They were predicting this would happen


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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