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Half of BC residents finding it harder to afford necessities as 90% notice 'major increase' in gas prices: Study

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.

<who> Photo credit: ARI

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.

<who> Photo credit: ARI

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.

<who> Photo credit: ARI

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.

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