To whom it may concern,
As a result of recent discussions on social media, residents of Valemount and area have identified a serious problem, one to which we take this opportunity to share with you and others.
We have discovered that the fuel prices in Valemount are extraordinarily high in comparison to other retail outlets in the region. Anecdotal evidence is confirmed by such internet resources as www.bcgasprices.com/ and gasbuddy.com/Gas_Prices/British_Columbia/index.aspx that prices are unreasonably and chronically high.
Today’s prices by personal observation on the morning of December 12, 2012 and according to bcgasprices.com for out of town listings:
Co-op card-lock (members only) $1.232 /L
Petro-Canada $1.339 /L
Shell $1.339 /L
McBride Husky $1.229 /L
Blue River Petro-Canada $1.269 /L
Blue River Husky $1.269 /L
Prince George (consistently priced) $1.189 /L
Mackenzie (end of dead end road) $1.189 /L
Clearwater $1.179 /L
Kamloops (most retail at) $1.099 /L
Kamloops Petro-Canada $1.139 /L
Kamloops Shell $1.179 /L
Jasper Alberta $1.129 – 1.149 /L
Hinton, Alberta $1.129 /L
Valemount is experiencing an economic downturn, with hardship experienced by residents supporting families suffering less than full employment potential. Subsequent higher than reasonable fuel prices is a disincentive for some to remain here.
Additionally, tourism dependent businesses may well be suffering a similar fate in part because of these high fuel prices. A number of sources have reported that visitors are bringing their own fuel with them, from as far away as Alberta.
Our village is designated as a “Gateway Community”. With such fuel prices one has to consider that visitors and those en route to other destinations might well be asking themselves “Gateway to what?”.
In the long term this fuel pricing structure may serve to displace those on the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder; enabling a gentrification to change the class structure. We are a community proud of our working-class history, and resent anything that tears at this social fabric.
Grassroots community discussions continue to develop strategies and tactics to be taken should this communication fall upon deaf ears.