EDITORIAL: Do more than grumble, folks

The last few weeks, The Chief has received a round of letters to the editor, phone calls, Facebook messages, and emails about the inflated price of gas at the pumps in Squamish.

Most who have contacted us seemed angry the ongoing approximately extra 11 cents a litre we pay in Squamish is not our front-page story.

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Here’s the thing: this is not new. The price at local pumps has been inflated for years. We have written about it several times — including this week.

For something to be front-page news, it has to be, well, new.

So, we are putting this back on to you, dear disgruntled fuel buyers in the Sea to Sky Corridor, what have you done to make this issue news? Have you contacted the Competition Bureau and filled out a formal complaint in droves? Have you written to the owners of the local gas stations? Better yet, have you written to the corporations — Shell Canada, Husky Energy, Chevron, Petro-Canada and the like? Have you contacted our MP and MLA?

Or have you started a petition or filled out the one that already exists — “Gas companies: stop gouging Squamish residents!” on Change.org?

Neither the paper nor those at muni hall — who often also hear these same complaints — can lead this fight for locals.

[Though the District has sway in moving Squamish toward access to regional transit sooner rather than later, which should help.]

These are private corporations charging what the market will bear.

“I think consumers need to make it news,” said Mayor Karen Elliott. “Consumers should think about all the creative ways they can let people know that they are not happy about this.”

Of course, no one is suggesting a wave of protests like those underway by the gilets jaunes, yellow vests, in France over the proposed fuel taxes there — that has gotten a bit out of hand.

But if you want things to change, driver-seat anger isn’t going to cut it.

On the flip side, since most in the Sea to Sky say they want society to transition away from fossil fuels stat, perhaps higher gas prices will speed up, even more, the move toward regional transit in the corridor and push those who can to purchase electric vehicles — price at the pump problem solved.

Either way, this is up to you, Squamish consumers.


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