B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver and Premier John Horgan announce plan to phase out sales of carbon-fuel vehicles by 2040, October 2018. (B.C. government)

B.C. Green leader battles sound-bite storm over going zero-emission

Andrew Weaver says gasoline gouging is moving people to electric

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver is digging his way out of a social media blizzard after a Vancouver radio station segment on how to cope with record gasoline prices.

He said he can’t keep up with the Twitter tags and responses he’s had since he discussed the costs of driving a conventional vehicle and the growing number of people who are moving on to transit or zero-emission options.

Did he really suggest that people take out a second mortgage to buy an electric car?

“That’s creative interpretation of what I actually said,” Weaver said in an interview at his B.C. legislature office Thursday.

A former university lecturer not given to sound-bite answers, Weaver said he laid out the options for people who are looking at enormous commuting costs, and describing electric vehicle options that are improving every year.

He does advocate that people consider borrowing to buy an electric vehicle, and installing a charger at home. Weaver took advantage of the ZAPBC program, which provides free home chargers for the cost of installation. When he’s heading up-Island from his Oak Bay home, he uses one of the expanding network of fast-charge stations that allows him to recharge in Nanaimo in 15 minutes, paying 35 cents per kilowatt-hour.

“It costs me about two bucks to go from here to Qualicum Beach,” he said.

Weaver is taking his own advice, trading in his last gasoline vehicle for a new electric SUV, which has a range of 415 km on a charge and is eligible for a provincial rebate of $5,000. These days a used electric car can be had for $15,000, and the low maintenance and battery life have been clearly demonstrated, he said.

Weaver’s other message to people looking at gasoline prices of more than $1.70 a litre is to consider the annual ritual of summer increases.

VIDEO: Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles begin to arrive in B.C.

READ MORE: Carbon tax increase funds electric vehicle subsidies

“I would suggest that the excuse of the ‘summer driving season’ leading to refinery scheduled maintenance is beginning to wear thin on me and others, as it’s beginning to look like a self-fulfilling prophesy that prices go up in the summer because of the fact that we expect them to.”

Big oil companies are increasingly shipping heavy crude down the Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to Washington refineries they own, then selling the fuel back to B.C. at inflated prices, a refinery markup twice as big as the rest of Canada, he said.

“To me it’s madness that we’re trying to prop up a sunset industry,” Weaver said. “And I think it’s madness that we’re not seeing this gouging as anything other than an opportunity to say, OK, enough is enough. I don’t want to participate in that.

“People can walk more. They can car pool.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

State of local financial crisis declared in Fort St. James

The District will have a job fair on July 31 to help workers find transitioning jobs

Regional real estate sales down so far in 2019

Real estate sales in the northwest and Bulkley-Nechako regions of British Columbia… Continue reading

Update: Severe thunderstorm watch upgraded to warning for Cariboo North including Quesnel

Potential for strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain in the afternoon

Northern B.C.’s Ridley coal terminal sold, Canada divests, First Nations to own portion

Ten per cent of shares transferred to the Lax Kw’alaams Band and the Metlakatla First Nation

Vanderhoof Clippers are working towards getting a booth rebuilt at the Arena

Terry Lazaruk, president of the club said they haven’t been able to host sanctioned meets due to the lack of a proper timing booth

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Injured fawn at B.C. vet will be euthanized Friday night unless claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer is currently being treated at West Kelowna’s Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

B.C. First Nation’s group using ads in Texas targeting company for fuel spill

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Most Read