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Record prices at the pump in New Brunswick fuel frustration

Click to play video: 'New Brunswickers take another hit to the wallet as gas prices rise again'
New Brunswickers take another hit to the wallet as gas prices rise again
WATCH: Bank accounts in New Brunswick are being dealt another blow following the weekly gas price setting by the provincial regulator. Fuel costs are at an all-time high, and as Robert Lothian reports, it’s leaving some people to make tough decisions – May 6, 2022

Wallets in New Brunswick have been dealt another blow after the latest setting from the provincial regulator pushed fuel prices to all-time highs.

The New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board raised the maximum price for regular self-serve gasoline to nearly $1.92 per litre.

For diesel users, the pain intensified as the maximum price jumped to more than $2.58 per litre.

Read more: High gas prices hitting Atlantic Canada hard due to region’s reliance on heating oil

“Me and my girlfriend are speaking about getting a house because we just had a new baby, but it’s really hard to afford everything, especially with gas prices and everything going up,” resident Shane Blount told Global News at a Saint John gas station.

“It’s like every time we feel like we’re ahead, it feels like we’re going backward.”

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“I think it’s pretty sad because I work two jobs just to keep up with gas prices and get back and forth to work because I live in French Village. For our generation, it’s kinda sad because it’s like ‘what’s our kids’ generation going to be like?’”

Click to play video: 'Survey: Half of Canadians say they are going to start driving less because of high gas prices'
Survey: Half of Canadians say they are going to start driving less because of high gas prices

New Brunswickers in a tight financial situation are feeling the pinch and are now forced to make tough decisions.

Kathleen Metherell spoke to Global News while filling up her vehicle in Saint John.

“I’m a senior. By the time you pay for your rent and everything else, it’s really hard to maintain a car as it is, but with the gas prices so high, you really have to pick your places where you can go and for how far.”

Read more: Canadian shoppers moving to discount stores as inflation soars: Loblaw

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Mounting pressure at the pumps worsened in late February following the start of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

Herb Emery, Vaughan Chair in Regional Economics at the University of New Brunswick, said the end of pandemic restrictions has also been a factor in rising costs.

Following two years of directives to stay at home, New Brunswickers are back on the roads, leading to increased demand, he said.

“And so demand to drive and demand to consume fuel is up. Whenever you get a contraction of supply and or an increase in demand, the price is going to go up,” said Emery.

Every sudden price increase prompts the same question: what will bring prices down?

Read more: Global food, fuel prices won’t ease until 2024 due to Ukraine war: World Bank

Emery said resolving bottlenecks in the supply chain or an expansion in supply from a significant oil producer could do the trick.

However, he believes it’s more likely to be a recession that causes prices to plummet.

“In a recession, we can get a dramatic decrease in the use of oil just because people aren’t driving as much to go to work. They’re not driving as much on vacation. They also may not be driving as large vehicles anymore, or living in houses so far from the city.”

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Emery noted the public can often forget prices go through cycles, and fuel prices have reached extreme highs in the past.

”We always say ‘I can’t believe it got here,’ but the reality is, these prices can go a lot higher.”

Click to play video: 'Truck drivers struggle with high cost of fuel'
Truck drivers struggle with high cost of fuel

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