Gas prices up in some cities across Canada by as much as 19 cents

TORONTO — Gas prices jumped overnight in some cities across Canada, in many cases by around ten cents a litre, and by almost 20 cents in one city.

The price of gas on Thursday was up nationally by just over three cents on average at $1.58 per litre, with some provinces seeing bigger jumps than others, according to the CAA’s gas price tracker.

Kristine D’Arbelles, CAA’s senior director of public affairs, said gas prices are being driven by a number of factors including international issues, seasonality, supply and demand and provincial taxes.

With hurricanes Fiona and Ian hitting coasts this week, delivery and supply of gas is likely affected for some markets, D’Arbelles said.

"Storms can have an effect on gas prices," she said. "Because where gas is coming from is slightly different across the country, that might mean that one province is feeling it a little bit more than another province."

Victor Vallance, senior vice president of natural resources and pipelines at DBRS Morningstar, said the Canadian dollar, which has been under pressure this week, is likely contributing to prices going up, as oil is priced in U.S. dollars.

In Alberta, provincially prices were up by six and a half cents, but up almost nine cents in Edmonton.

Meanwhile, Ontario prices averaged two cents more than on Wednesday, but in some specific cities it was a different story.

In Thunder Bay, gas prices were up by almost 20 cents, and in Peterborough prices were up 11 cents, compared with a gain of just around a penny in Toronto. In other Ontario cities, such as Brantford and Brockville, gas prices were up by four and half cents.

In Saskatchewan, prices were up almost six cents, while Manitoba’s prices saw just a one-cent rise. Quebec's prices barely moved overnight, while prices in British Columbia were up by almost four cents.

Prices have been more volatile than usual for months now, and consumers are likely trying to save where they can, which could soften prices, said Vallance.

“People are being squeezed all over with inflation,” he said.

In some provinces, there’s another jump in gas prices on the horizon as tax relief programs reach their limits.

Alberta’s temporary gas tax relief, introduced earlier this year when prices soared, is on its way out, albeit slowly. On Oct. 1, the province will reintroduce a tax of 4.5 cents per litre, still a far cry from the usual 13 cents.

Ontario’s gas tax was cut to nine cents per litre from 14.7 cents effective July 1 and ending Dec. 31.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 29, 2022.

Rosa Saba, The Canadian Press