National gas prices continue to rise to dizzying heights this weekend, with drivers in Vancouver being told to brace themselves for as much as $2.34 a liter at the pumps.
Figures on the fuel tracker GasBuddy show that the national average price of regular gas reached $1.95 per liter on Saturday afternoon, with provincial averages peaking at $2.15 in Newfoundland and Labrador and $2.11 in British Columbia.
- How have inflation and the high cost of living affected you? Tell us your story in an email to [email protected]
“My concern is that this will spread throughout the economy,” said Dan McTeague, a former Liberal MP and current chairman of the Canadians for Affordable Energy group. CBC News Network on Saturday.
“I’ve never seen anything like it since my days doing this as a Member of Parliament” [in 2008]…At least the Canadian dollar was strong back then, protecting Canadians from these higher prices.”
McTeague said in another interview that Canadians “are hitting this hard and it’s not the ones riding for kicks and giggles, it’s the ones who need this to get to work…And it will be long term.”
He said these prices are unsustainable for the middle class and fixed income people.
Many experts have attributed rising gas prices to market destabilization caused by the Russian attack on Ukraine, as well as to a recovery in global demand as COVID-19 restrictions ease.
McTeague acknowledged that as factors but characterized the spike as a supply problem that predates the war and is now only getting worse.
He called for a temporary suspension of the carbon tax and for Ottawa to offer an immediate energy discount, noting that rising gas prices have also increased the federal GST pull.
“They’re making money hand-over-fist. It seems to me that it would be wise for them to at least consider some sort of discount, or at least some way of alleviating, through perhaps a GST discount, to isolating and helping people on fixed incomes and of course those who are struggling,” said McTeague.
BC Prime Minister Tells Residents To Cut Travel
On Friday, BC Prime Minister John Horgan said cutting taxes would be a “short-sighted” plan that offers only a “modest amount” of relief.
He said he has asked the finance minister “to put forward a package of initiatives because this is not a short-term issue”.
Until then, he encouraged residents to cut travel costs wherever possible.
“We need to do that by all taking the steps we can to reduce the amount we spend and also make sure we work together. When you go to the grocery store and you know you have a neighbor who needs something , ask if you can pick it up for them and reduce the number of trips we make,” he said.
“Right now I encourage people to think before you jump in the car — should you make that trip?”
Gas Wizard, another gas price tracker, forecast significant jumps in several cities on Sunday, with Vancouver expecting prices to rise six cents to a national high of $2.34 a liter.
Montreal is expected to see a four-cent jump to $2.15, and Toronto is on track for a six-cent increase, pushing average prices to $2.09.
St. John’s is expected to make the biggest jump on Sunday with 13 cents to $2.24 a liter.
Prices in Edmonton are expected to be among the lowest at $1.70 per liter.