Gas prices could hit $1.80 a litre in Ottawa this weekend
Gas prices topped $1.70 a litre in Ottawa for the first time ever, and experts warn they will hit $1.80 a litre by the end of the weekend.
The cost of gas jumped seven cents a litre on Friday, hitting $1.73 a litre at some stations across Ottawa. The increase followed a seven-cent-a-litre increase on Thursday.
Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, says prices will drop one cent a litre in Ottawa on Saturday, before increasing eight cents a litre on Sunday to $1.81 a litre.
"Eighty dollars for a tank this small is too much, too much," Aklilu Afowerk said while filling up half a tank on Friday.
"I'm a student so it sucks, but I need to travel so I don't have a choice," said a driver filling up at the Pioneer Gas Station on Industrial Avenue.
McTeague told Newstalk 580 CFRA this week the hike in prices is linked to both Russia's invasion of Ukraine and supply issues.
"Fifty per cent of what you're seeing here is war, the other 50 per cent is a shortage of supply," McTeague said. "We've had a global supply shortage and tightness in supply, which many have warned about."
McTeague expects prices to rise to at least $1.85 a litre in the coming weeks and months.
"With the war and sealing off, as we must, Vladimir Putin and his oil and gas and forcing Europeans and even Americans to stop importing gas, or in this case oil, it's likely to see oil pushing $120, maybe $130 a barrel – which means another 15 to 20 cents a litre for motorists in the capital."
Ottawa taxi driver Amrik Singh says each increase in gas prices hits his bottom line.
"It comes out of the driver's pocket," Singh said on Friday.
"The situation right now is, whatever you make all day, at the end of the day when you fill up your gas you pay all that money to the gas company."
Mr. Mozzarella owner Nishu Mangla says when gas prices go up, both the pizza parlour and the delivery drivers are hit.
"We have a shortage of drivers. So we have to go sometimes for the delivery ourselves," Mangla said. "But it’s the same thing, more money goes to the gas stations, less money into the driver's pocket."
Singh warns the cost of gas will drive more taxi drivers off the roads.
"Taxi business is a dying business," Singh said. "With the expenses so high, why would you spend 12 hours on the road and take $30 home. It has made it too costly to drive a cab."
CITY BUDGETS $58 MILLION FOR FUEL
The rising cost of fuel will affect the budgets for city of Ottawa services, including police, public health and transit.
The city budgeted $58 million for fuel this year.
"To better protect against the fluctuating price of fuel, the City has a long-standing policy to hedge diesel fuel to reduce market risk and provide stability within the budget," Deputy City Treasurer Cyril Rogers said in a statement.
"The City's total fuel budget for 2022, including the Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Public Library and Ottawa Public Health is $58 million. Of that, OC Transpo accounts for $41 million."
Ontario's NDP reintroduced legislation on Wednesday that would regulate prices at the pumps by setting a weekly price or daily maximum.
According to the website ottawagasprices.com, the average price of gasoline in Ottawa was $1.22 a litre one year ago and 63 cents a litre in late March 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.