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Gas Pain: Four-in-ten say rising prices at the pump are making it harder to afford necessities

As the price of gasoline begins its high summer season, painful increases at the pump are causing some road warriors enough heartburn to rethink trips to cottage country this Victoria Day long weekend.

According to a new survey conducted by the non-profit Angus Reid Institute, the vast majority of drivers have witnessed gas prices going up where they live, and fully one-in-three (33%) who have noticed an increase say they are struggling to keep up.

In B.C., where nine-in-ten drivers say they’ve noticed a “major increase” in prices, a sizeable majority of residents (59%) feel the provincial government isn’t doing enough to address the issue.

Most in that province (70%) say they would support their government introducing a maximum price cap on gasoline, as Quebec and the Atlantic provinces already do.

Across the country, there is considerable disagreement over the reasons for the increasing cost of filling up. Federally, Conservative-minded Canadians overwhelmingly blame government taxes, while supporters of other federal parties are more likely to point a finger at oil companies trying to maximize profits.

More Key Findings:

  • When gas prices rise, the vast majority of Canadians are affected. More than three-quarters of the population (76%) drives a car or other motor vehicle “most days” or “multiple times per week”
  • Most of those who have been personally affected by rising gas prices have done something to try to mitigate these effects. One-in-three (35%) say they have been driving less, and another quarter (26%) say they have been filling up less. Still others have traveled to other towns (18%) or across the U.S. border to buy gas (7%)
  • Drivers living in rural areas and small towns are more likely to say they have noticed a major increase in gas prices where they live (75% say this). They’re also more likely to say they’ve been struggling as a result (44%)

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