Record-high gas prices expected for Ontario, Quebec
Gas prices are expected to reach record highs in parts of the country this weekend.
Gas price watchdog Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, says drivers in most cities in southern Ontario and Quebec can expect to pay an extra two cents per litre at the pumps on Friday.
In Montreal, a litre of gas was expected to cost 161.9 cents. In the Greater Toronto Area, gas prices were expected to hit 151.9 cents per litre, surpassing the 150-cent mark for the first time.
Prices in these regions are expected to increase further come Saturday, reaching 162.9 and 152.9, respectively.
However, prices in Western Canada were expected to remain the same on Friday. A litre of gas was expected to cost 139.9 cents in Calgary and Winnipeg, 136.9 cents in Edmonton, 137.9 cents in Regina and 169.9 cents in Vancouver.
These predictions come as crude oil prices continue to rise. A barrel of crude reached US$90 on Wednesday, the highest it's been since 2014.
"There's obviously geopolitical tensions behind that, but there is of course scarcity in supply of oil and we're now at levels where the world is simply using a lot more fuel than is available," McTeague told CTV News Channel.
Supply chain constraints are the biggest drivers of the spike in oil prices, McTeague says.
"The United States, pre-pandemic, was producing 13.1 million barrels of oil a day in March of 2020. They're now down to 11.7 million barrels. There just isn't enough oil to go around," he said.
The threat of an erupting conflict between Russia and Ukraine has also stoked fears of further supply disruptions.
"Russia isn't going to come up with any more oil, not that it really wants to. It's playing a obviously a geopolitical game with Europe and Ukraine," McTeague said.
The federal carbon tax, as well as the weak Canadian dollar are other factors that have led to rising gas prices, McTeague says. He points out that the last time oil prices were over $80 a barrel, the loonie was almost at par with the greenback.
"I think we're going to have to start to really think about the long-term effects, which are not just high prices or energy, they're highly part of the inflationary spiral and worse -- we're not getting any break on the Canadian dollar," McTeague said.