Gas prices drop below 70 cents a litre in region as global demand drops
NEW DUNDEE -- If you haven't filled up your tank, now might be the best time to do so.
You may have noticed that prices at the pumps continue to drop right across Waterloo Region. While that's been good news for many drivers, it's put independent gas station owners in a bind.
The owner of the gas station at Baltaz Corners in New Dundee says he hasn't seen gas prices this low—fuel was just 69.7 cents per litre on Thursday morning—in decades.
Mike Baltaz says he's been in the gas business for over 35 years.
The last time he can remember seeing prices below 70 cents was in the late 90s and early 2000s. Over the last two weeks, gas prices have dropped 25 cents per litre at his Esso station.
The independent gas station is facing a 50 per cent drop in profits due to these low gas prices.
Baltaz adds that he's had to reduce employee hours to make up for some of the loss.
What could make matters worse: he believes that prices won't rebound anytime soon.
"All these lockdowns keep up for another few weeks, I could see fuel staying low for another month, two months at least. Probably into the summer," he says.
But President of Canadians for Affordable Energy Dan McTeague says you should fill up at these prices while you can.
He says that he believes gas prices have bottomed out, and Canadians should expect fuel to go back up by about 5 cents on Friday.
McTeague says that the drop has "significant long-term implications" for the Canadian economy, because it means that oil, Canada's number-one export, is selling for a lot less than usual.
"It also means a higher cost of living because it damages the Canadian dollar," he added.
The light at the end of the tunnel for oil producers and the economy: he anticipates that gas prices will be in the range of $1.15 per litre again by May or June.
McTeague also predicts a five cent increase in Waterloo Region by Friday.
"Next Wednesday the federal government will yet again increase the carbon tax resulting in a three centre litre increase for diesel, 2.5 for gasoline," he said. "The following week is a semi-annual shift from winter to summer gasoline, so add another five cents a litre."
A month ago the average price of gas across Canada was just under 112.8 cents per litre, according to gasbuddy.com.
With files from CTV London.