National gas prices continue to rise to staggering peaks this weekend, with drivers in Vancouver urged to account for as much as $ 2.34 per gallon at the pumps.
Figures on the GasBuddy fuel tracker show that the national average price of regular gas reached $ 1.95 per liter on Saturday afternoon, with the provincial average peaking at $ 2.15 in Newfoundland and Labrador and $ 2.11 in British Columbia.
The Gas Wizard predicted significant jumps in various cities on Sunday, with Vancouver expected to see prices rise by six cents to a national high of $ 2.34 / liter.
Montreal is expected to see a jump of four cents to $ 2.15, and Toronto is on the rise with a rise of six cents that will take average prices to $ 2.09.
St. John’s is expected to see the biggest jump on Sunday with 13 cents to $ 2.24 / liter.
Prices in Edmonton are estimated to be among the lowest at $ 1.70 / liter.
“These are staggering, eye-catching prices that … are probably not sustainable for most high-income / middle-class Canadians,” said Dan McTeague of the Gas Wizard, also president of Canadians for Affordable Energy.
“I think it’s fair to say that most Canadians take this seriously and that it’s not those who drive for kicks and giggles, it’s those who need this to get to work … And it will be long-term. “
Many experts have attributed rising gas prices to market destabilization caused by Russia’s attack on Ukraine, as well as the recovery of global demand as covid-19 restrictions ease.
McTeague recognized these as factors, but characterized the increase as more of a supply problem that preceded the war and is only getting worse now.
He called for a temporary abolition of the carbon tax and for Ottawa to offer an immediate energy rebate, noting that rising gas prices have also increased the federal GST deduction.
“They make money hand over fist. It seems to me that it would be wise of them to at least consider some form of rebate, or at least a way to alleviate, through perhaps a GST rebate, to isolate and help those who have fast income and, of course, those who are having a hard time, says McTeague, a former Liberal MP.
On Friday, BC’s Prime Minister John Horgan said tax cuts would be a “short-term” plan that only offers a “modest amount” of relief.
He said he had asked the finance minister “to present a basket of initiatives as this is not a short-term issue.”
Until then, he encouraged residents to reduce travel costs where possible.
“We have to do it by all of us taking the steps we can to reduce the amount we spend and also make sure we work together. If 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 take, “he said.
“Right now, I encourage people to think before you hop in the car – do you need to make that trip?”
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 14, 2022.