High gas prices across the country -- including a record high in British Columbia -- are causing consumers to change their habits.
For the third time this week, gas prices in the Metro Vancouver area broke records. With prices hovering at 168.9 cents per litre, filling up a car in Vancouver has never been more expensive.
One B.C. driver told CTV News said they’ve cut down on driving as much as possible because the prices were “pretty crazy.” Another driver said they only filled their gas tank halfway so it wouldn’t be as painful.
But prices were also high across the country. On Saturday, gas prices ranged from $1.17 in Edmonton, $1.23 in Toronto to $1.33 in St. John’s, N.L.
The record prices are tied to a cut in production from several key U.S.-based refineries, coupled with a spike in demand. And experts say the unprecedented pain could be the new normal.
“If you want gasoline, you are going to have to pay through the nose at the hose to get it,” said Dan McTeague, senior petroleum analyst for Gas Buddy.
CARBON TAX CRANKS UP PRESSURE
The federal government anticipated higher gas prices after the federal carbon tax came into effect in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick on April 1. Ottawa said that 90 per cent of the revenue earned through the tax will be returned to Canadians through a rebate.
Consumers in provinces with the carbon tax have already seen a spike by at least four cents per litre.
The B.C. government is considering some relief for those who find the prices prohibitively expensive, a move that could be crucial if United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney defeats NDP Premier Rachel Notley in Alberta’s provincial election on Tuesday.
Kenney has promised to cut gas shipments and turn off the taps if B.C.’s NDP government doesn’t drop its fights against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
In Ontario, gas stations that don’t display government-mandates stickers about that price increase could face a fine of $10,000 per day.