‘Staring down a recession’: Experts say gas price drop expected to leave dent in Alberta economy

Click to play video: 'Double-edged sword: pros and cons of low gas prices'
Double-edged sword: pros and cons of low gas prices
WATCH ABOVE: At this time last year, gas cost 110.3 cents per litre. Now, it's just down to 77.1. Although this is appealing to consumer's bank accounts, Eloise Therien explains how the current coronavirus pandemic is creating issues for the oil and gas sector. – Mar 20, 2020

Drivers throughout Alberta may have noticed lower-than-usual gas prices in the month of March, dropping to as low as 59.9 cents per litre on Friday.

“We have seen some unusual purchasing patterns,” said Kelly Klimchuk, district manager for Gas King.

Kilimchuk said people have been out and about doing their “business as usual” in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, but expects business to slow down further as more people self-quarantine and avoid travel.

“We are seeing it tail off somewhat,” he said.

Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy and former MP, said the drop in prices is a mixture of decline in demand due to COVID-19 and intricacies within provincial and federal governments.

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“The debts that we’ve accumulated until now, compounded by this situation could leave every Canadian vulnerable,” he said.

“I wouldn’t put all my eggs in one basket when it comes to gas. The damage may be done.”

McTeague said with the weakening of the Canadian dollar, low gas prices now won’t be as beneficial when it comes to the cost of other purchases in the future.

According to numbers from the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), Alberta gas is down from 93.5 cents per litre last month and 110.3 last year, averaging at 77.1 on Friday.

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