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Gas Prices To Hit Sky-High Levels In Some Parts Of Canada

Daniel Tencer

This has already been a pricey season for Canada's motorists, but it's about to get worse, especially in British Columbia and Quebec.

Prices in Quebec are expected to spike by 10 cents this week, to an average of 135.9 cents per litre, gas price monitoring site GasBuddy predicted on Monday.

Still, that's peanuts compared to British Columbia, where prices are expected to jump two cents to an all-time record of 155.9 cents per litre.

Price pressures will be soft in the early part of the week, "followed by dramatic increases in market valuations by the end of the week," said Dan McTeague, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.

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McTeague put part of the blame on "the limping Canadian dollar ... which has lost 8 per cent in value compared to the U.S. greenback since February 1." That has made oil prices more expensive in Canadian dollar terms.

He also noted that a large number of Canadian refineries are going into or extending their spring-time maintenance shutdowns, putting upward pressure on gas prices.

GasBuddy sees prices rising in most parts of Canada over the week, with three-cent rises in Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg. Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, London, Sudbury and most of southern Ontario will see a relatively mild jump of about one cent, while the Maritimes and Newfoundland will see a two-cent increase.

Earlier on HuffPost Canada:


GasBuddy forecast earlier that 2018 will be a tougher year for drivers than the past few, with an average gas price of $1.19 per litre nationwide over the year— the highest since 2014.

McTeague said the "primary factor" behind the higher prices was OPEC's 2016 decision to cut oil production, in an effort to shore up slumping oil prices.

OPEC's effort has had some success, with oil prices rising a good 50 per cent since their lows in 2016. West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark North American crude oil, was trading at around US$62 on Monday morning, not far off its highest levels in two-and-a-half years.

Earlier on HuffPost: