Northwestern Ontario’s already high gas prices are only getting worse.
Gas Buddy reports that Kenora’s gas prices have risen from 181.9 per litre to 184.1 and 184.4. Dryden’s prices are a touch higher at 185.9, while Red Lake reports 191.9.
Sioux Lookout’s prices range from 190.7 to 211 cents per litre, breaking the $2 mark. That would be the highest gas price in Canada. Winnipeg’s prices sit around 173.9 per litre.
It’s a strange scenario being reported in Thunder Bay, where prices range from a stark low of $1.50 per litre at three locations to a high above $1.90 per litre at four stations.
Kenora MP Eric Melillo explains the increases are due to Canada’s carbon tax rising to $50 per tonne on April 1, tacking on an extra 2.2 cents onto the cost of a litre of gasoline on average.
“Unfortunately, it [wasn’t] an April Fool’s joke,” said Melillo, in an interview with the Q Morning Show, noting many had been calling for a delay to the increase, which didn’t come.
“This is something we had previously been calling for a government to put a pause on, given the fact that inflation is so high right now. I don’t know if there’s a good time for a tax hike, but it certainly isn’t one right now.”
Melillo had previously supported a motion that called on the federal government to reduce gas prices by 5 per cent, which is the same amount the federal government collects through taxation on fuel, which was shot down earlier this month. It would have reduced prices by about eight cents per litre on average.
“We know when the price of gas goes up, it affects everything,” adds Melillo. “It inflates the price of groceries, clothing and other necessities. I’m hoping to be in the House and call on the government to reverse the carbon tax hike and provide some relief to Canadians.”
RBC Economics estimates that higher oil prices could cost Canadian households about $600 more per year, or $10 billion overall, to buy the same amount of gasoline as last year.
The Ontario government has introduced legislation that, if passed, would cut the provincial gas tax by 5.7 cents per litre and the fuel tax by 5.3 cents per litre for six months, starting July 1, 2022.
Carbon tax rebates, meant to offset rising costs, are still scheduled to be delivered in July 2022. The first set of payments will be doubled, with two remaining quarterly payouts set for later in the year.
It’s estimated the carbon price will rise again by April 2023, increasing fuel costs by about 3 cents per litre. A clean fuel standard act coming by December of 2023 is also expected to add another 4 cents per litre.