Gas prices in Metro Vancouver hit a record-breaking 164.9 cents a litre
Drivers in Vancouver can’t catch a break and are now paying a whopping, record-shattering price of 164.9 cents a litre
Analysts are suggesting that the anti-pipeline protests that have blockaded railways, roads and certain ports are likely to result in a spike in gas prices.
The railroad tracks in Belleville, Ont. have now been halted for the last 12 straight days and don’t have an end date in sight at this time. The protestors vow to remain there until the government cancels the proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline that will partially run through the unceded land of the Wet’suwet’en First Nations.
The consequences of these blockades are already being felt across the country as the movement of goods has been greatly delayed. Experts now say that gas prices in Lower Mainland BC are expected to rise as a result of these protests.
Kent Fellows, an Alberta-based economist at the University of Calgary predicts the spike could be anywhere from 10 to 30 cents per litre. “If blockades persist you will definitely see an increase in fuel prices… A lot of the volume that is coming in from Alberta refineries to the Lower Mainland is now on rail.”
CTV News Vancouver interviewed commuters in the Vancouver area and they expressed their frustration.
“I mean, everything goes up all the time. Especially in this city (Vancouver). So it’s just another thing to endure,” driver Mike Freides said.
“You can’t go without gas, much like you can’t go without utilities or food. It’s above my paygrade to solve that problem.”
Trudeau recently held a meeting to attempt to remedy the problem of growing frustrations on both sides of the issue.
“I understand how worrisome this is, and difficult. We are going to continue to focus on resolving this situation quickly and peacefully,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The Port of Vancouver has also been affected by the demonstrations, preventing the loading and unloading of cargo.
“Demand for anchorage is currently exceeding the availability, causing a backlog of ships waiting to get into port,” said a spokesperson for the Port.
One Vancouver Island resident was arrested yesterday as residents tore down a blockade that was stopping access to a highway, according to Global News.
The blockade was erected by protesters who are opposed to Coastal GasLink pipeline being built across Northern British Columbia. The pipeline is being built over traditional Wet’suwet’en territory.
These protesters were soon met by local residents who attempted to pull down the barricades. Many of the residents were wearing masks, and the police attempted to divide the two sides.
The confrontation was so heated that one resident drove a truck through the barriers.
One man was arrested for obstruction after he repeatedly tore down the barriers erected by the protesters. Police refused to arrest any of the protesters who were blocking the highway as they did not have orders from their superiors to do so.
Over the past few days, anti-pipeline protestors have placed blockades throughout the country, bringing Canadian infrastructure to a halt.
In Ontario, protestors blocked the tracks at Belleville, cancelling all trains between Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal. In Vancouver, protesters blockaded the Port of Vancouver, which left workers without pay until the police enforced the injunction and arrested the demonstrators.
The decision to allow Coastal GasLink pipeline was given approval by all 20 First Nation band councils in the area. Some of these band councils even had referendums on the matter, which subsequently approved the pipeline.
MasterCard has received $49 million from the federal government in an effort to have the company place a cybersecurity centre in Vancouver.
The net income for MasterCard was almost $4 billion in 2017.
Navdeep Bains, the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry announced the Cyber Centre with MasterCard. The announcement was made in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum last week.
True North reported that Bains said, “The centre will focus on creating technologies and standards to ensure that Canadians and others around the world can safely use any device that could be connected to the Internet—phone, tablet, computer, vehicle—without concern that their personal and financial information could be stolen.”
It is estimated that 380 people will be employed by the centre which Bains says will turn Canada into a “world leader in cybersecurity.” He also noted that the cost of cybercrime in Canada is about $3 billion annually.
MasterCard Canada’s president, Sasha Krstic noted that MasterCard customers from all around the world will benefit from the technology that arises out of the new centre.
According to Krstic the research coming from the centre “will help meet the growing demand for technology solutions to reduce the cost of cyberattacks, enable today’s connected devices to become tomorrow’s secure payment devices, and address the growing vulnerabilities associated with the Internet of Things.”
The Strategic Innovation Fund will fund the $49 million. The program has supplied more than $2 billion to mostly large corporations.
Other corporations that have received large sums from the federal government include Canadian Tire and Loblaws. Canadian Tire received $2.7 million in January for electric vehicle charging stations. Loblaws received $12 million for low emission refrigerator units to replace their current models.
Uber and Lyft have been approved to operate in the Metro Vancouver area, according to the Vancouver Sun.
The two Goliath ride-hailing companies will launch their operations imminently—perhaps within weeks or even days. Cars have been approved for the Lower Mainland and Whistler. The only thing they now have to do is to receive insurance from the ICBC and local approval.
In a victory for the ride-hailing giants, there will also be no set quota for the number of cars in the area, which was an original point of contention for British Columbian taxi drivers.
Uber has stated that its operations in Metro Vancouver will begin “very soon … once we have obtained a business licence from the City of Vancouver and purchased insurance from ICBC. In the meantime, we encourage all qualified drivers with a Class 4 licence to sign up on the Uber app.”
Lyft also began to put in place the companies infrastructure. In a statement, Lyft thanked “the provincial government and the Passenger Transportation Board for their dedication.”
This decision will come as a blow to the taxi sector in British Columbia, who has campaigned actively to stop Uber and Lyft from competing with them. The British Columbian government has vowed to work with the taxi industry so to ease the transition.