Gas prices in Saskatchewan hit a historic milestone in Saskatchewan on Monday, with some gas stations reaching $2.06 per litre for regular unleaded fuel.
The increase, about a 10-cent jump from the previous day, is a cost that has both average residents and municipalities alike struggling.
“I think we’re going to be looking at this rollercoaster volatility, but the fact that we’re over $2, psychologically is very indicative of how serious the global shortage of oil, diesel and gasoline is,” said Dan McTeague of Gas Wizard.
The gas increase comes at a time when people are in desperate need of some reprieve from the soaring costs of fuel, what’s most shocking of all to McTeague is that prices have yet to peak.
“I think we could see days where it goes up and down, but I still think there’s lots of upside momentum for gas to hit $2.15 a litre here in the province at some point this summer,” he said.
The cost of gas is throwing a wedge into the financial plans of many, including rural municipalities.
“Most, if not all RMs, have motor graders, tractors and all other kinds of machinery to maintain roads, and it’s becoming very hard to balance the budget in rural municipalities,” said Ray Orb, president of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities.
Orb said high fuel prices are having a ripple effect on rural projects and contracts.
“RMs now have to make the decision if they want to give up the contract and the contractor may not be willing to do it for the price that it was given earlier on,” he said.
Orb said the association has heard the frustration of its members and colleagues and will be lobbying the provincial and federal governments to do better on their pledge to address the rising fuel costs.
Additionally, Orb said the association has asked the federal government not to go ahead with the carbon tax increase. Now they would like to see it completely axed.
Along with rural municipalities, urban ones like the cities of Regina and Saskatoon say rising gas prices have caused them to go significantly over budget and reassess their finances.
“The recent fuel price increase could have a significant impact on the city of Regina as the city purchases over seven million litres of fuel per year,” the city said in a release.
“The fuel prices today represent a 55 per cent increase in the fuel price compared to our budgeted fuel price. If today’s fuel prices remained the same for the rest of the year, the city’s fuel cost would be expected to be approximately $4 million above budget,” the city said.
The city of Regina said it will be closely monitoring fuel costs throughout the year and finding opportunities to offset increased costs as required.
“Over the first four months of 2022, the price of both diesel and gas has been above the budgeted amount with diesel averaging about 21 per cent higher than budget for the first four months and gas averaging about 14 per cent higher,” said the city of Saskatoon in a release.
“However, the overall variance for fuel is dependent on the price and also on the actual consumption compared to budget. The administration will report to city council in late summer on the overall projected surplus or deficit for the city which will include discussion on the impact of the fuel prices and consumption,” the city said
According to McTeague, motorists should be seeing some relief by the weekend and see prices drop under $2, but just slightly by about seven cents.
Prices are then expected to rise again at a later point in the summer, he added, saying high gas prices are here to stay for the foreseeable future.