Financial hits due to rising gas prices

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No thanks, I’ll walk. Yassine Khalfalli Via Unsplash

Adequate public transit kind of seems like it’d be nice right about now, yeah?

by amir said, contributor

Now may be the time to consider getting a Tesla, because gasoline prices are at an all-time high all over North America, and Saskatchewan is no exception.

We always like to complain about gas prices when they go up by 10 cents or so over the holidays and rejoice when they hit record lows, but we’re currently experiencing the biggest gas price surge in North American history. As something that so many of us rely on, the rates that it’s being sold at are putting many in economic and financial jeopardy. Students are forced to take the bus rather than drive, Ubers and taxis are less inclined to provide their services at the same rates, and the amount of money that drivers must spend on gas puts financial restrictions on the rest of their lives.

“I take full-time classes and work two part-time jobs and I financially support myself which has always been a challenge, but is now more than ever thanks to tuition rates and gas prices being higher than ever. My car is pretty good on gas, but thanks to these gas prices I’m only able to fill it up less than usual and am forced to spend so much more than I ever have,” said Rahima Mian, a third-year Arts student at the University of Regina. She is one of many examples of someone who is being seriously impacted by this issue. “I have friends and family in Pakistan that I’ve talked to about this issue and they aren’t as badly impacted, but gas prices are still going up there. It’s not related to the political situation in Ukraine like it is here, but prices are still higher than ever from what I’ve heard. These worldwide gas price increases, whether it’s because of the political situation or economic inflation, are a very disturbing trend.”

At the time of writing, gas prices across Regina are at a high of 177.9 cents per liter, while Saskatoon and Moose Jaw are at highs of 178.9 and 168.9 respectively. This unprecedented rise in gas prices is incredibly problematic for consumers, as prospects of enjoying the improving weather and lack of COVID-19 public health measures by traveling disappear. Many of us are more likely to abstain from travelling until prices go down. The Saskatchewan government does not seem too eager to help either, unlike Alberta’s provincial government, which has temporarily removed its tax on fuel – Scott Moe has not expressed any willingness to do the same with the province’s fuel tax of 15 cents per liter on gasoline and diesel.

There may soon be light at the end of the tunnel: Roger McKnight, chief petroleum analyst for Canadian energy company En-Pro International, has stated that consumers can expect gas prices across the nation to drop in the coming week or so. Saskatchewan can expect to experience a price drop of 12 cents. While gas prices may stay higher than we’d like for the foreseeable future, we can all look forward to imminent price drops backed by the research of analysts like McKnight and let our optimism carry us through these trying times.

Students at the University of Regina, along with people worldwide, continue to be impacted by the issue of escalating gas prices. Economic inflation is a trend that populations worldwide are encountering for a variety of different social and political reasons. As markets hopefully stabilize now that the economy is able to substantially recover from the COVID-19 pandemic in many locations, all we can do – besides let our wallets bleed – is look to the future and stay positive. Though we’ll obviously keep talking about how bad gas prices are.

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