May 17, 2019 3:19 pm
Updated: May 17, 2019 3:20 pm

Feeling the pinch at the pump? What gas prices to expect across Canada this summer

WATCH: BC MP says people making tough choices over 'sky-high' rural gas prices

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Canadians can expect high prices at the pump this summer, but it won’t be making any new records.

Unless you’re in Vancouver, where there are already record-breaking prices, the gas prices are expected to be a few cents shy of last year’s prices.

READ MORE: Vancouver poised to break records in summer of high gas prices

Lower oil prices in 2019 are offsetting the increases seen by the federally imposed carbon tax to four provinces (Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan).

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The low oil prices are due to a combination of things, Dan McTeague of GasBuddy.com tells Global News.

“A trade war between the United States and China the number one and two global economies — many believe that they could have an effect on driving prices down as it would drive demand to a much lower level,” McTeague explained.

WATCH: Tariff war between China and the United States


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The average price of gasoline in major Canadian markets last week was about $1.34 per litre, but it varied from around $1.23 in Calgary and Winnipeg to the high of $1.70 or more in Vancouver.

Gasoline prices rise every spring due to factors including the higher cost of making summer gasoline — which requires an extra four or five cents per litre for additives to prevent evaporation — and supply interruptions as refineries shut down for routine maintenance, the analysts said.

There are other factors that could contribute to the price of gas increasing as the summer continues.

READ MORE: Premier John Horgan asking B.C. Utilities Commission to investigate record breaking gas prices

One of those things is geopolitics, as U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela — which have deep oil reserves — continue to stay in place, McTeague explained.

Saudi Arabia has also reported attacks on its oil pipeline infrastructure.

But Michael Ervin, senior vice-president at the Kent Group Ltd. said he expected prices to remain stable throughout the summer.

“There’s a lot of spare capacity,” Ervin explained. “Threat of disruptions in supply halfway around the world don’t mean as much today as they did eight or 10 years ago.” 

1 in 3 Canadians can’t keep up

A new poll from the Angus Reid Institute shows nearly a third (29 per cent) of Canadian drivers say the higher gas prices make it harder to afford necessities.

The poll also says that respondents who feel the pinch have tried at least one thing — such as driving less, finding deals on gas in neighbouring towns or traveled across the border — to mitigate the effects.

READ MORE: Driving an electric vehicle will save thousands: BC Hydro report

Another poll from Toyota Canada says just under half of Canadians are less likely to take a road trip this summer because of the rising gas prices.

A third of respondents to that poll also said they were cutting back on things like entertainment and dining out to make up for the costs.

WATCH: Alberta-based oil and gas company cites gas prices, tax bills, court decision as it shuts down

*With files from the Canadian Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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