Gas prices in Canada are continuing to smash records, setting the stage for potentially lasting consequences on everything from the cost of goods to consumer behaviour.
The price of a litre of gasoline jumped to an eye-watering 222.9 cents per litre in Vancouver Monday as prices at pumps across the country trended up over the weekend.
Experts say rising gas prices are compounding inflation’s economic toll on Canadians as higher fuel prices have a knock-on effect throughout the economy, pushing up prices and hurting consumer sentiment.
Opher Baron, an operations management professor at the University of Toronto, says higher gas prices drive up shipping costs and prices on goods like groceries and clothing.
Yet he says because Canada is such a large and rural country with inadequate public transit in some areas, many people don’t have any alternative but to pay higher prices at the pump.
Sohaib Shahid, economic innovation director at the Conference Board of Canada, says rising gas prices also have a disproportionate impact on low-income Canadians as they tend to spend a larger portion of their income on transportation, shelter, food and clothing.