Gas prices are set to rise again in British Columbia as the final instalment of the province's carbon tax comes into effect on Canada Day.

The increase of 1.11 cents per litre is the last of several steady increases over the past four years that have seen the carbon tax on gasoline rise to almost seven cents a litre.

The B.C. government says the carbon tax has brought in $500 million in revenue, which has gone towards reducing personal income taxes and business taxes.

Environmentalist Ian Bruce of the David Suzuki Foundation says the tax has changed the way people in B.C. consume fuel, with an incentive for consumers and businesses to switch to greener practices or cleaner technology.

"I think the carbon tax has been an incentive for companies to innovate new ways at reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and coming up with new solutions," he said.

"B.C.'s technology sector has done just that. It's one of the fastest growing sectors in B.C.'s economy. It employs about 10,000 people. It continues to grow; it's actually going to surpass the mining industry in B.C. for the amount of jobs it produces."

Review planned

But Mark Jaccard, a professor of environmental economics at Simon Fraser University, believes it will take 20 years before the province can speculate on the success or failure of the tax.

"It would be shocking if a carbon tax had made a difference in a couple of years and it hasn't," he said.

The controversial tax has also divided political parties.

The B.C. Conservatives say it's got to go, while the NDP wants to keep it but put revenues toward green initatives and transit.

The ruling B.C. Liberals released a report on its greenhouse gas reduction progress last week, showing a 4.5-per-cent reduction in emissions over the past five years.

The province's long-term goal is a reduction of 33 per cent by 2020. However, the provincial government appears undecided about the tax and are planning a review.

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  • 1. Crude Oil Prices

    It starts with crude oil. Although Canada may produce more oil than it consumes, the country is at the mercy of global markets for the commodity. Increased Middle East instability, sparked by popular uprisings, has lead to concerns about supply. Better-than-expected economic growth, especially in developing nations such as China and India, has also increased demand. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

  • 2. Refining Oil into Gas

    The next link in the supply chain is refining. In order to turn thick, black crude oil into useful products such as gasoline, diesel, heating oil and jet fuel, it must be sent through a mind-boggling array of pipes and tanks, heaters and condensers to sort the components of the substance from lightest to heaviest. This is a complex and costly process, and is paid for by what is known as the "crack spread," or refining margin. This represents the difference between prices fetched for the products produced, and the cost of crude oil inputs.. (AP File Photo)

  • 3. Transportation to Retailers

    Once the oil has been refined into gasoline, it must be transported to retail outlets across the country. This is accomplished through a network of 23 terminals - from St. John's to Nanaimo, B.C. -- forming the backbone of the distribution network. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

  • 4. Retail Mark-Up

    The retail mark-up averaged 7.6 cents per litre in April. This national average masks wide variation, from lows of 4.6 cents in Calgary up to highs of 25.8 cents in Whitehorse, according to Kent Marketing Services, an industry consulting group. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

  • 5.Taxes at the Pump

    Emily Corbett of Mechanicville, N.Y., pump gas at a station in Mechanicville, on Wednesday, May 11, 2011. New York, Indiana, Illinois and New Hampshire are among the first states talking about temporarily suspending part or all of the state and local taxes that can add 14 cents to nearly 50 cents to a gallon of gas. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

How high will the average Canadian gas price get by the Friday of the August long weekend?

  • $0.90-$0.99

  • $1.00-$1.09

  • $1.10-$1.19

  • $1.20-$1.29

  • $1.30-$1.39

  • $1.40-$1.49

  • $1.50-$1.59

  • $1.60-$1.69

  • $1.70-$1.79

  • $1.80 and up

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