Propane prices at a premium across Ottawa and the Valley
ARNPRIOR, ONT. -- The cost of propane is the latest commodity to receive a pandemic price hike.
Investment firm ATB Capital Markets, which is located in Alberta, says propane prices in Edmonton has ballooned almost 300 per cent over the last three months, to US$1.40 per gallon from roughly US$0.25 per gallon.
It's a reflection of the demand for propane across the country and the world economy.
"It's supply and demand, so as the colder months arrive the price is going to go up," says Chris Eades, the site manager at W.O. Stinson & Son Ltd. in Arnprior, Ont. "The shock is there about the price. Everybody understands that it is a world pandemic issue that the cost of everything is increasing."
Those that will be hit hardest by the latest price bump will be homeowners in rural communities who use propane to heat their homes.
"Back in February we were sitting at 65 cents to fill up our propane," says Jena-Molly Dorion, who lives just outside of Arnprior, and uses propane to heat her home through winter.
"We heard about the rise in costs so we wanted to get our propane filled up for the winter time. The bill said 75 cents a litre and at this time it's still continuing to rise."
Dorion is a mother of two and is currently on maternity leave, a situation she finds herself lucky to be in at this time. She says being home during the day allows her to use her family's wood stove to heat their home, instead of propane. But that doesn't cool her worries about the cost of staying warm during winter.
"This last (fill up) was over $500 which doesn't seem like a lot but it's still a lot when you have to fill up every couple weeks," Dorion tells CTV News Ottawa. "Back in February we were sitting at about $300 (for a fill up)."
Throughout the entire winter season, the Canadian Propane Association says the increase will add up.
"There's probably an increase to some Canadians of $700 and $1,000, depending on if you use it just for cooking, or heating, or appliances," says CPA's Senior Vice-President of Government Relations Allan Murphy.
They are calling on provincial and federal governments to step in and ease the financial burden as Canadians continue to work their way out of the pandemic.
"Generally prices tend to go up during the winter months and come down in the spring," says Murphy. "We think that will be the case here."
Dorion says there's nothing her family can do but ride the price wave, as her price isn't locked in with her propane provider.
"If you're rural, that's the only option you have, is propane heat," says Dorion. "So there's a lot of people in the Ottawa Valley, this is their only option."