Chart: Gas vs. other goods

The big rise in gas prices wasn’t gradual. It was recent and dramatic.

 

According to Statistics Canada, average cost of regular unleaded gasoline in Canada’s three largest cities was $1.41 per litre in April 2012. In 1949, gas cost less than nine cents per litre. Quite a difference! In those 63 years, an item in the overall Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose from $1 to $10 and gas rose from $1 to $16.10. Most of this discrepancy is fairly recent. The graph below shows that when compared to the overall CPI, it has only been since 2003 that gas has become consistently more expensive. In 38 of the 63 years since 1949, gas prices were relatively cheaper. Along with the sharp rise in crude oil prices since 2003, B.C. and Ontario added 7% to 8% to the price of fuel with the introduction of HST in those provinces in 2010.


 

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