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‘Where does this all end?’: High fuel and food costs here for a while, experts warn

Click to play video: 'No end in sight for high gas and food prices' No end in sight for high gas and food prices
Maritimers are seeing a slight decrease at the gas pumps this week. But with fuel prices hitting record highs recently – and food costs climbing at the same time – it’s putting a strain on people. And experts say things are expected to get worse before they get better. Callum Smith reports. – Nov 5, 2021

Maritimers are seeing a slight decrease at the gas pumps this week, with prices dropping by about 2.3¢ per litre.

But with fuel prices hitting record highs recently and food costs climbing, people are still feeling the strain.

“It’s definitely been creeping up for a while now and changes the way that I drive,” says motorist Cliona O’Brien. “I do live 30 kilometres out of town, so I definitely try to group things together when I’m heading into town.”

“With inflation and everything that’s rising in price, from food to gas, now I’m hearing cheese and milk are going to go up, and oil prices just to heat your home,” says Jon Kester, who also filled up at the pumps Friday.

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Across Nova Scotia, the minimum price for regular gas ranges from $1.41.5 per litre to $1.43.5.

In New Brunswick, the maximum price for regular is $1.49.2.

Read more: Why sky-high gas prices in N.S., N.B. could be here to stay

Analyst Dan McTeague, the president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, says we might see another decrease next week, but the winter won’t be friendly.

“I think we’re going to be looking at testing those record prices we set last month,” he says, “so back in the middle-to-upper $1.40s, possibly hitting a $1.50.”

And he’s not sure when the end will be, pointing to Nova Scotia’s cap-and-trade program and the carbon tax in New Brunswick, both adding on to the cost of gas.

Click to play video: 'Record gas prices expected to stay high into winter' Record gas prices expected to stay high into winter
Record gas prices expected to stay high into winter – Oct 8, 2021

But it’s not just gas. Groceries are also costing more these days.

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Dalhousie University’s Sylvain Charlebois says many animal proteins are up by double-digit percentage increases since the start of the year.

“Beef is up more than 15 per cent, chicken 13 per cent, pork as well, eggs are up 8-13 per cent as well,” he says.

Read more: Canada’s inflation rate hits 4.4% in September, highest level since 2003

Charlebois says dairy products “could actually go up by as much as 15 per cent in the new year” also, in response to the Canadian Dairy Commission’s recommendation earlier this week of an 8.4 per cent increase in farm gate milk prices.

“I’d say right now we’re in the second inning of a baseball game. We’re just at the beginning,” says Charlebois, the director of the university’s Agri-food Analytics Lab.

“I think things will get rocky over the next little while until probably the beginning of spring of 2022.”

He suggests following flyers and ‘enjoy tonight’ deals.

Regardless, it creates challenges for many, especially with a recent report suggesting the cost of living in Halifax is about $10 more than the minimum wage.

Click to play video: 'Consumer Matters: Canadians buying more discount grocery items than 2020' Consumer Matters: Canadians buying more discount grocery items than 2020
Consumer Matters: Canadians buying more discount grocery items than 2020 – Oct 6, 2021

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