The vast majority of drivers in British Columbia say they have noticed a major increase in gas prices recently – with most of them changing their habits as a consequence.
In a survey, 90% of B.C. drivers said they had noticed a significant jump in prices over the last three months – the largest percentage in Canada.
To cope with rising prices, 45% of respondents to an Angus Reid Institute poll said they have reduced their daily driving.
Nearly a third (32%) are buying less gas, 25% are travelling to other cities for cheaper fuel, 13% are using public transit more often and nearly a fifth (19%) are heading into the U.S. for gas.
Nearly three-quarters (71%) of respondents said they were taking at least one of the above actions as a way of adjusting to higher prices.
The study also found that 50% of B.C. residents are finding it harder to afford necessities as a consequence of the price hike.
When it comes to who Canadians blame for the increase, however, B.C. diverges from most of the country.
British Columbians (47% of them) are more inclined to blame “oil companies’ desire to maximize profit” than government taxes or general economic conditions.
Only Quebec (with 55% of respondents) shows a similar willingness to blame oil companies.
In every other province, a plurality blames government taxes.
But a comfortable majority (59%) say the government is not doing enough to help with gas prices.
Read the full study here.