Published April 17, 2024

'They're going to get a shock': Gas prices to climb 14 cents

Price of gas falls; may fall some more

Gas prices in Ontario will soar 14 cents per litre overnight Thursday to a level not seen since Aug. 2022.

"They're going to get a shock," said Dan McTeague, the president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, describing how most people will feel if they fill up the gas tank later this week.

On average, the price per litre in most Ontario cities will climb to $1.79.

"This is a wholesale price hit and this has everything to do with the switch from winter to summer gasoline, except a lot more expensive this year than any year I've seen in the past."

McTeague was asked by Barrie 360 why the switch to summer gasoline is necessary.

"We've been doing this for 40 years now," he explained. "That's because the winter blend uses butane. It's a great product if it's nice and cold and you want to get your engine started quickly. It's not so great in hot weather."

McTeague said butane can reduce the performance of advanced technology engines.

"They replace it with something called alkylates. They are extremely expensive and they are getting more expensive year-after-year as more environmental demands are being made of them. Alkylates are also a major property for increasing premium gasoline and you're actually starting to pay the big premium for premium gasoline mixed into regular gasoline from that period roughly Apr. 15 to Sept. 15."

On Apr. 1, the price of gasoline climbed 3.3 cents per litre, while diesel jumped by 4.1 cents per litre as a result of the federal carbon price climbing by $15-per-tonne.

"It's another brick on the camel's back. How much more can we take?" said McTeague.

He said motorists will get a bit of a "consolation prize" on Friday when gas prices actually drop 3-cents per litre.

Looking ahead to summer, with the understanding a number of factors are at play including increasing tensions in the Middle East, McTeague expects even higher prices in the next few months.

He said the spike at the pumps will be the nail in the coffin for many.

"It's not just gasoline, but this cascade throughout the economy impacts food and the price of every form of transportation that we need to get our products to where they need to go."

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