'I can't afford these prices': Gas in Ottawa hits record high

·2 min read
The price at the pump is expected to rise by four cents a litre and sit just shy of the two-dollar mark Sunday, according to Gas Wizard, a website that tracks prices across Canada.  (CBC News  - image credit)
The price at the pump is expected to rise by four cents a litre and sit just shy of the two-dollar mark Sunday, according to Gas Wizard, a website that tracks prices across Canada. (CBC News - image credit)

It used to cost Chris Polis about $60 to fill up his gas tank. On Saturday, he shelled out more than $105.

"It's going to be hard to swallow," said Polis, while pumping gas at the Costco station in Nepean.

Polis lives in Almonte, Ont., and makes the 40-minute drive into Ottawa almost every day. Driving is the only way he can get to the city, he said.

"That's why I bought a hybrid — to cut the cost of gas," he said, letting out a sigh.

Gas prices hovered around the $1.92 to $1.95 mark in Ottawa Saturday, but according to Gas Wizard, a site that tracks prices across Canada, they're expected to jump by four cents a litre and sit just shy of two dollars a litre Sunday.

CBC News
CBC News

Those high prices have some motorists like Prahasith Kondra refusing to fill their gas tanks all the way.

Kondra told CBC News he only put in $13 worth of fuel Saturday.

"I can't afford these prices," he said, adding he'll only be using his vehicle once in a while — like when he has to drive longer distances.

"If it's empty, I'm taking public transit," he added.

No end in sight

Drivers are likely to experience even more pain at the pumps in the coming weeks, said Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy.

"It's going to hurt. It's going to be painful and it's likely not to end," McTeague said.

"[Prices are] going to probably increase as much as another 10 cents a litre between now and the May 24 weekend."

Gas prices have risen rapidly over the last year, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine exacerbating the trend. Last May, the average gas price in Canada was $1.32.

CBC News
CBC News

"On May 9th, if [Russian president Vladimir] Putin uses a national day of celebration there to say he's had enough, no more war… I think that'll take some pressure off," McTeague said.

But the main issue comes down to supply and demand, said McTeague, adding he sees no end in sight to high gas prices.

"We're going to be spending a lot more money," he said. "It's a direct hit on Canadians, especially those on middle and lower incomes."

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