November 1st, 2020

Canadians being hit hard at the pump


By Nick Kuhl on May 18, 2019.

Dave Mabell


Lethbridge Herald


dmabell@lethbridgeherald.com


Despite the rain, many southern Albertans are hitting the highways 
this weekend.
But with gasoline prices rising, many Canadians have planned trips 
closer to home. And others are enjoying a “staycation” in their own 
community.
According to a new survey conducted by the non-profit Angus Reid 
Institute, most Canadians have witnessed gas prices going up where 
they live. And about one-third who drive say they are struggling to 
keep up.
Prices are highest in British Columbia, due largely to the limitations 
of the aging TransMountain Pipeline.
Motorists there are paying $1.619 per litre this weekend in Victoria, 
or $1.579 in Vancouver. By comparison, Alberta prices range from 
$1.259 in Lethbridge to $1.129 in both Calgary and Edmonton — with a 
low of $1.047 in Vegreville.
In B.C., where 90 per cent of those who responded said they’ve seen a 
“major increase” in prices, about 60 per cent say the provincial 
government isn’t doing enough to address the issue.
Half of those living outside the major centres said approving the 
pipeline expansion would help reduce prices, followed by 45 per cent 
living in the major cities.
But the study found 70 per cent of British Columbians would support a 
government move to place a cap on gasoline prices, as in Quebec and 
the Atlantic provinces.
Right across Canada, the poll found widespread considerable 
disagreement over reasons for the higher prices. While 39 per cent 
blamed the oil companies for seeking higher profits, 43 per cent cited 
federal and provincial taxes, while 18 per cent described it as 
economic pressures.
Once again, there was a divide between Alberta and B.C., with 47 per 
cent of British Columbians blaming the companies vs. 24 per cent in 
Alberta. The study also showed those who vote for conservative parties 
are likely to pin the blame on taxes, while others are more likely to 
point a finger at oil companies trying to maximize profits.
The Angus Reid study also found when gas prices rise, the vast 
majority of Canadians are affected — with more than three-quarters of 
the population driving a motor vehicle “most days” or “multiple 
times per week.”
  Drivers living in rural areas and small towns are more likely (75 
per cent) to say they have noticed a major increase in gas prices 
where they live and to say (44 per cent) they’ve been struggling 
financially as a result.
But most of those who have been personally affected are trying to 
mitigate its effect. One-third say they have been driving less, while 
26 per cent say they have been filling up less.
A small number (18 per cent) report driving to nearby towns for lower 
prices, or crossing the U.S. border (seven per cent) in search of 
cheaper gas there.
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