Manitobans feel pressure of rising prices of gas, food ahead of thanksgiving

Manitobans are feeling the pressure of high fuel and food prices ahead of thanksgiving. . THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Don Denton

Manitobans are feeling the pressure of high fuel and food prices ahead of thanksgiving.

Many people travel during the holiday but doing so this year might hit the bank hard.

Winnipeggers can still expect to pay about a dollar and 86 cents at most gas stations in the city.

However, one expert cautions diesel is now the one to watch.

The average price of diesel in Winnipeg had been going down since late summer but on Saturday, some locations were charging well over two dollars a litre.

The rise in the price is especially concerning because of its widespread use, according to Dan McTeague with Canadians for Affordable Energy.

“It’s going through the roof, and we use it for everything. All forms of transportation no matter what you touch: (vehicles), jet fuel. All those things are going absolutely bonkers.” he said.

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“It’s going to start to go up even when gasoline prices start to fall.”

Truck drivers use diesel and they are the ones who bring us everything from groceries all the way to school supplies.

“Diesel prices are the largest operational expense right now for our industry. So as we see prices increase, it has a large impact on the prices of things you and I pay for,” said Aaron Dolyniuk, executive director, of the Manitoba trucking association.

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Diesel is the most efficient fuel available and truck drivers have to use it, according to Dolyniuk.

This trickle-down effect includes food, which is a troubling thought for Winnipeggers who are already feeling the impact of inflation.

“When I look around the city and when I travel in the city, I see that this has become hard on individuals and on households,” said Kathy Giesbrecht, of Winnipeg.

The cost of doing business for everybody is increasing as diesel prices go up, says Dolynuik.

Sticker shock at the grocery stores is certainly not something new but it is a troubling thing ahead of thanksgiving when people typically would buy more food.

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“When I go shopping, I notice that families aren’t maybe getting all the things that they might want to get for Thanksgiving,” said Giesbrecht.

Canada’s food inflation rate has been around 10 per cent since May of this year and prices at grocery stores are continuing to rise, reaching a level not seen since 1981.

“I think different levels of government need to pay attention to what that means for families,” said Giesbrecht.

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“You know, when you can’t meet your rent and your food, then those people, it becomes despairing.”

The province is taking steps to help with the issue, on Sept. 26, Families Minister Rochelle Squires announced a $1.75 million food security fund to support non-profit community organizations.

“We know that food banks and other not-for-profit community groups who assist Manitobans with their food needs have been feeling the effects of inflation,” said Squires.

“This new fund will offer immediate financial assistance to help these essential organizations maintain the important work they are doing to support Manitobans in need across the province.”

With files from Global’s Rosanna Hempel

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Staff, volunteers prepare Siloam Mission’s annual Thanksgiving meal

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