VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – You’re probably still dealing with sticker shock at the pump with record high prices, and those high prices are hurting more than just drivers.

SFU Marketing Professor Lindsay Meredith feels local businesses are going to feel the pinch as more of your dollars head south of the border.

“Back to that perfect storm scenario because you’ve got a strong Canadian loonie, you’ve got a federal government who finally said we’re going to let you bring back a bucket load more of duty free goods into Canada, and oh by the way, gas is a $1.30 down there and it’s $1.53 a litre up here,” notes Meredith.

“All of those things start to reinforce each other and provide a stronger reason for Canadians to head south,” he feels. “That’s Canadian dollars that ought to be staying here in Vancouver and we’re literally driving our business into the arms of the Americans.”

Meredith thinks with another two cents a litre being added to your bill thanks to the carbon tax, the exodus to the border will only get worse.

A gas station in New Westminster is posing the highest price in the Lower Mainland at $1.51 per litre, with the lowest at a station in Aldergrove at $1.34 a litre.

In the meantime, don’t count on a gas war bringing down these near-record gas prices.

That’s according to Simon Fraser University professor Lindsay Meredith who says in economics it’s called “Unconscious Parallelism”

“All it means is that as soon as one guy changes the price, those guys call into head office, and usually what head office does is matches somebody else’s price so what do you know, the prices always end up to be the same,” he explains.

American holiday a boost for Vancouver’s economy

Expect the border to be busy in both directions this weekend as Americans celebrate Memorial Day.

In the past, this long weekend always sees a lot of our American neighbours coming up for a visit, and this weekend is no exception with hotels around Metro Vancouver full.

Candice Gibson with Tourism Vancouver says our strong loonie has made it challenging to get Americans up here but she thinks things are improving.

“It has been at par for sometime and as such, people have sort of got used to it,” believes Gibson. “They’re doing all the things they used to do when they visit. A lot of it is weather-dependent. People are outdoors going to Grouse, going to Capilano Suspension Bridge, going to the Vancouver Aquarium and of course, lots of dining and shopping.”

Gibson adds that so far this spring, the number of Americans coming north from Washington State is up significantly from 2011.