I live in BC and always have. I have only ever airsofted in BC. I have never worked a job that pays more than ten dollars an hour. I am well aware of the costs of playing here, living here, driving here, and everything else.
I own seven AEGs, two GBB sidearms, and a slew of gear. The cheapest AEG cost me $250, the most expensive $650. Only two of the above guns (pistols included) were purchased outside of ASC, and of those two only one of them was worth my money, and that one I could have gotten for half the price on ASC, or a better option with extras for the same price.
Do not chalk up everything that is being said to "them east coasters having it easier". They are not wrong. You may go ahead and ignore everything they say, but if you really want to get into airsoft you will sooner or later get yourself AVed and when you do you'll kick yourself over and over again for not embracing the system here and reaping its massive (and they are massive, make no mistake) benefits. If you want to save money because it's so expensive living out here, get AVed. Seriously.
And don't give me any of that "it's too hard" stuff; there are a bunch of AVers in the lower mainland and elsewhere. I got AVed while on vacation in Toronto -- it took less than an thirty minutes. It's not hard in the slightest, it doesn't take long, and if you're able to go to a field to play, you're able to go to a field to get verified. Or a Tim Hortons. Or wherever.