Drivers and businesses in N.B. feeling effects of gas price hikes
Published Thursday, April 11, 2019 7:25PM ADT
Drivers and businesses in New Brunswick are beginning to feel the effects of rising gas prices beyond the pumps.
“I don’t like the price,” said driver Nancy Hallett.
New Brunswickers awoke to an 11-cent gas hike Thursday morning. The increase comes only a week-and-a-half after the federal carbon tax went into effect.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do in the summer time when it does go up, because I travel back and forth to the cottage and I’m a senior,” said Hallett.
Mike Cassidy has a fleet of 200 vehicles including Maritime Bus, as well as municipal and school transportation.
He says the 11-cent increase will cost him an additional $3,000 per week. Increases to Cassidy’s fleet get passed down to customers through fuel surcharges on ticket prices.
Cassidy did add they do tend to see more people taking the bus over time when fuel prices rise, saying people would rather pay the nominal fuel surcharge on a bus ticket than try to afford filling their own gas tank.
“If prices increase, I probably won’t be able to take the bus anymore to go up and visit friends,” said bus passenger Alex LeClair.
The rising fuel costs and carbon tax are affecting New Brunswick businesses as well.
“Goods and services that come into New Brunswick go out of New Brunswick. Things that are manufactured here, it’s all going to filter down from that cost of the carbon tax being added,” said Fredericton Chamber of Commerce CEO Krista Ross.
New Brunswick's minister of environment and local government, Jeff Carr, says the Progressive Conservatives plan to address things that the Liberals did not last year.
“The old Brian Gallant plan did not address large emitters, so we are going to have the plan that does look after the larger emitters. It looks after consumers as well,” said Carr.
If Ottawa accepts the plan, cost to the province's large emitters could be recalculated, retroactive to the start of 2019.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jessica Ng