High Gas Prices Making It Difficult For Canadians To Afford Necessities: Poll

Nearly half of Canadians say that rising gas prices are making it difficult for them to afford basic necessities.

A new Angus Reid Institute poll found that 44% of Canadians feel that a recent surge in gasoline prices – due primarily to the federal carbon tax recently enacted by Ottawa – is making it harder for them to afford their basic needs.

The survey’s findings come amid heightened concern over Canadians’ mounting debt loads and as the beginning of the summer driving season that is forecast to push gas prices even higher.
Most Canadians affected by rising gas prices said they’ve changed their behaviour to soften the blow to their wallets. Thirty-five per cent said they’re spending less time driving, while 26% say they’re filing up less often. Seven per cent of respondents said they’ve crossed the U.S. border to buy gasoline.

Gas prices have risen across the country as geopolitical tensions push prices for crude oil higher. Domestically, the introduction of a federal carbon tax in four provinces, including Ontario, in April also helped drive the price increases at the pump.

Canadians are divided on what’s behind the higher prices, with 43% blaming government taxes and 39% blaming oil companies looking to maximize their profit. In British Columbia, which currently has the highest gas prices in all of North America, nine out of 10 drivers said they’ve noticed a “major increase,” with 70% saying they would support the government introducing a price cap.