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Mayor pumped to tackle price disparity
Shuswap politicians are buying in to a movement to pursue regional parity at the gas pump.
Salmon Arm Mayor Nancy Cooper says she will advocate on behalf of the local chamber and Shuswap businesses who believe high gas prices, compared to those in neighbouring communities, are having a negative impact.
“I would certainly give them all my support on this gas pricing issue,” says Cooper. “There’s a little place at Mara, and it’s at 131.9 (per litre), and Salmon Arm is 138.9, and I’m thinking in this remote place here, they can actually have it seven cents cheaper than Salmon Arm. It doesn’t make sense to me.”
The chamber is hoping to bring Salmon Arm prices in line with neighbouring communities such as Enderby and Vernon.
Cooper, however, envisions a more regional approach, that would include Sicamous and possibly other communities in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District.
Cooper says Sicamous Mayor Darrell Trouton has already expressed interest in pursuing the issue and that she also plans on speaking with Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo,
In Jan. 2012, Sicamous council, of which Kyllo was a member, raised the issue of gas prices in that community typically being higher than those in Salmon Arm. A week later, the price of gas in Sicamous was on par with Salmon Arm, and has been that way since.
“I would like to talk to some of the CSRD directors, and see if they want to come in on this with us, so it’s not just Salmon Arm/Sicamous, but this whole region is looking at how gas prices are affecting our economy and what can we do right now to get them down,” said Cooper, who would also like to find a more long-term solution that will bring greater stability for affected businesses.
“We actually have to have a long-term look at this and say, these are what the gas prices are, if they’re going to go up, how can we be notified, instead of all this random – one day it was over $1.40 and then down a bit again and then back up. That is so random; it’s really hard for business.”