The rising of gas prices has hindered Canadians nationwide and they are only expected to get worse as time progresses. While this may seem like an afterthought for many students who transit to or perhaps live on campus, the same can not be said for others.
Michael Cini is a first-year computer science student who commutes to campus from Springwater, Ontario — a near one-hour drive from York’s Keele Campus. Because of price increases, Cini has been “forced” to stop going to in-person classes.
“I drive diesel, so the price is higher. I believe that due to the price increase among the necessities of life being increased, there could be a continuous domino effect. As we’ve seen over the years, the cost of living has been going up steadily and has not gone down.”
Cini notes that he is lucky to be living with family as he does not need to worry about rent or food expenses. “As consumers, we don’t really have a choice but to keep using it. This means that oil and gas companies can keep raising the price of gas because consumers will have no choice but to keep buying it. For those who can’t afford these rising prices, it’s very difficult for them.
“Now add that on top of the insane price of housing, plus the insane price of food — there’s a serious issue there and it needs to be dealt with before it’s too late.”
CBC News notes that the primary reason for these soaring prices is due to “geopolitical tensions” from the Russian-Ukraine war. Due to the recent sanctions along with Russia being a huge supplier for much of the world’s oil and gas, the supply is at risk of being cut off if the situation continues to escalate.
These tensions are being viewed by analysts and energy markets as a very serious risk, “and therefore prices are moving higher,” said Dan McTeague, President of Canadians for Affordable Energy to CBC News.
Contrary to Cini, some students face far greater difficulties. Karley Spencer is a fourth-year disaster and emergency management student, who also works a full-time job in Belleville, where transit isn’t present. Moving cities is not a viable option as both she and her husband own their home and are not able to secure approval for a higher mortgage in the current market.
Spencer expresses her upset that both her job and school have made in-person activities mandatory, “especially after we proved for two years that life did not have to be this way. Now, I am being further exploited financially in order to bend to the requirements of these establishments and I’m creating a larger ecological footprint during a time where I should be minimizing it the best I can.”
Spencer also notes that her and her family have had to put a cap on how much they can spend weekly and must resort to purchasing lower quality groceries despite having dietary restrictions.
“I am applying for new jobs that can be done remotely, I am looking at selling both of our vehicles for something that does not require gas, and that I will likely also take on a part-time job (on top of my full time job).”
In the previous week, there has been a slight and brief dip in prices when paying at the pump. However, some analysts say that southern Ontarians should expect prices to reach well over $2 per litre come early April.