Synchronized gas price increases on a Canadian long weekend – As reliable as gravity. They come like sunrise. And Spring showers.
And this weekend is no exception.
Every gas station on Southern Vancouver Island raised their prices within minutes of each other – from about 102.9 to 106.9. Snap. Just like that.
But how does this work?
We asked a master mechanic and long time employee at a local Petro-can station.
“Gas prices in Victoria are set automatically… by a supplier in Vancouver. On a system called Viper. It is an auto-dialer. Electronic. Every gas station gets the exact phone call at the exact same time… regardless of the levels in their tanks. This is the way it has been on South Island as long as he can remember. “
They raise the prices. We get screwed. Rinse and repeat.
Petro-can employee continues…
“Tri-mac is the trucking company that delivers the gas… but it is one supplier in Vancouver… at the terminal… that calls the shot. Price fixing? Sure it is. But there is no one in government (or the media) with big enough stones to tackle the problem.”
Free market system at work I guess. More of a racket as I see it.
Anyway. The upside for me? I drive less. Or maybe a bit slower. And smell the roses… if and when they bloom.
With a little imagination we can give the finger to big oil. Boycott one station or another. Pay in buckets of pennies. Walk more. Take the bike. Car pool. Or give up your car entirely if you can.
I did not actually own my first car until I was 40. And I had my license when I was 19. That was my way of sticking it to the man. Nowadays, I actually need a vehicle – with aging parents and all… and actually wanting to live a little.
So. We live with it. Begrudgingly.