Gas Prices in Ottawa: Expensive Diesel Price Rises Elsewhere in the Economy

With gasoline prices moving towards $2 per liter, diesel has already surpassed this figure by far.

Diesel plays a huge role in fueling the economy, and high prices aren’t helping to slow the rising costs of almost everything.

In Ottawa, diesel flowed from the pumps on Tuesday at about $2.34 a liter, about double the price last year. For Paul Lalonde, owner of PML Construction, the cost of keeping nine dump trucks on the road is simply crushing.

“We do septic systems, excavate for new construction and supply aggregates, and each truck consumes an average of 160 to 200 liters per day,” says Lalonde. “That’s $20,000 a month and we have payments every month for these trucks — we have insurance benefits, we have staff to support, we’re at a loss and it’s just going to be completely unsustainable.”

Diesel is the primary source of energy for the global supply chain, powering transport trucks, trains and freighters, all of which deliver goods, groceries and even gasoline at the pump. So, as the price rises, the likelihood of consumer products falling is unlikely.

The driving force behind this wave is a shortage of supply, high demand after the pandemic, closed refineries and a war that leaves many parts of Europe hungry for gas.

“Diesel is the workhorse of the global economy,” said Dan McTeage of Canadians for Affordable Energy. “And the fact that it’s $2.30, $2.40 a liter, I think it’s a sign of real trouble for all of us. No matter what we buy, we will see an inflationary impact like we have never experienced in our generation.”

McTeague predicts fuel prices will drop slightly in the near term, but as the May long weekend approaches and the summer season kicks in, prices will continue to climb, and he says he sees no end in sight.

For Lalonde, he says it is time for the government to step in to provide a solution before companies are left with no other choice.

“We just want to cover the costs,” says Lalonde. “If I lose $100, $150 a day on a truck, eventually I will have to make a decision to sell the trucks or quit the business and do something else.”

Leave a Comment