FORT ST. JOHN -- As the federal carbon tax is set to rise on April 1st, residents of Fort St. John are already starting to feel pain at the pumps.

Gas prices in the city jumped overnight to 172.9 cents a litre at some stations, with analysts predicting the hikes are set to continue as stations make the switch from winter to summer-blend gasoline.

To help cars start in the colder month, winter fuel blends contain more butane, a low-cost liquefied gas that is mixed with crude oil and other petroleum liquids.

Refineries are in the shoulder season, the process of doing maintenance to prepare for the switch, and are not producing as much gasoline.

On a cost basis, the price at the pump usually peaks during the May long-weekend.

Beginning this April, the province will also switch to a ‘made-in-B.C. output-based pricing system’ to ensure emission reduction targets for the oil and gas industry are met.

The province says 100 per cent of revenue from the carbon tax increase will go to the Climate Action Tax Credit, and be given back to British Columbians through the tax incentive.

The federal government will raise the price of CO2 emitted from $65 to $80 per tonne beginning on April 1st, which will see the price of gas increase another three cents a litre.

“Canadians can’t afford this. That’s why 70 per cent of people oppose Justin Trudeau’s plan to hike the tax and 70 per cent of provincial premiers,” said Pierre Poilievre on X.

Justin Trudeau is defending the increases, arguing it is the right thing to do to build a better future for families and the planet after speaker of the house Greg Fergus declined Poilievre’s request for an emergency debate on the carbon price increase.

“Canada Carbon Rebate amounts are going up in April. That’s more money back in your pocket, automatically paid out to you four times a year, but Conservative politicians won’t tell you that,” said Justin Trudeau on X.