N.S. gas prices hit record high, and may continue to rise

·3 min read
N.S. gas prices hit record high, and may continue to rise

Gas prices have been creeping ever higher in recent months, and hit another all-time high in Nova Scotia Friday morning.

The cost of regular unleaded gasoline rose 11.1 cents per litre overnight in Halifax to a minimum of 190.9 cents per litre in the Halifax area.

The price varies in other parts of the province, with the highest prices found in Cape Breton, where the price rose 11.2 cents per litre to a minimum of 192.9 cents per litre.

The previous high was on March 8, when the cost soared to 186.2 cents per litre in the Halifax area and 188.1 cents per litre in Cape Breton.

The price for other types of unleaded fuel are even higher.

Price hikes likely not over

Gas lobbyist Dan McTeague told the CBC that gas prices are hitting record highs across the country, with the cost of gasoline sitting at about 195.9 cents per litre in Toronto, 202 cents per litre in Montreal, 204 cents per litre in Newfoundland and 217 cents per litre in Vancouver.

He expects prices to go higher.

"The average in Canada is going to get a lot closer to that $2-a-litre psychological barrier, if you will, and it's not likely to end there anytime soon."

McTeague said a tightness in supply, combined with shifting energy priorities and the Russian invasion of Ukraine are causing an energy crisis.

"The years and years of this idea that we can somehow wish away oil and gas has now begun to bear fruit, and unfortunately it's a very bitter harvest for most Canadians," he said. "Countries that could step up to plate with additional spare barrels of oil and capacity are no longer in a position to do that — Canada being the most notable one, the third-largest reserves in the world.

"We've spent a considerable amount of time and discourse in this country shutting down pipelines, and as a result, Mr. Putin and others who have oil are able to hold us literally over the proverbial barrel of diesel or oil."

McTeague said if the European Union does ban oil imports from Russia, it will cause prices in Canada to rise by 15 to 20 cents per litre from today's prices.

"We're in a very very tight bind. It's about to get worse and it will be very much the summer of our discontent, to say the least."

More transportation options needed

Thomas Arnason McNeil, the Ecology Action Centre's climate policy co-ordinator of sustainable transportation, said he feels for working Nova Scotians, particularly those who live in rural areas or don't have other transportation options.

"They're stuck in a situation in which a massive portion of their income is going towards something like just paying for gas," he said.

"It's a bad situation and we need to start moving in the other direction — and moving in the other direction does not involve further investment in oil and gas."

Arnason McNeil said the priority should be improving the accessibility of transportation options that decrease or eliminate reliance on fossil fuels, such as electric vehicles, rideshare programs and active transportation.

"The only way for the consumer to get away from massive gas price fluctuations is to opt out of oil and gas consumption. So let's get it out of our electricity grid. Let's get it out of our cars."


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