A majority of Canadians say they are worried or somewhat worried about the increasing price of gas, according to a new Nanos Research survey.
The survey, commissioned by CTV News, found that 38 per cent of Canadians are worried and 32 per cent are somewhat worried about rising fuel costs. Thirty per cent said they are somewhat not worried or not worried about gas price increases. One per cent said they were unsure.
More than six in 10 Canadians said they are likely (14 per cent) or somewhat likely (49 per cent) to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles as a result of the increase. More than one-third of Canadians – or 35 per cent – said they think Canadians are somewhat unlikely or unlikely to opt for fuel-efficient vehicles.
Canadians are split, the survey found, on whether they think Canadians will decide to drive less during the summer because of the rising costs of fuel. Thirty-eight per cent of them said Canadians are somewhat likely to drive less and 11 per cent said they were likely to do so. Twenty-eight per cent said Canadians are somewhat unlikely to drive less and 22 per cent responded that Canadians are unlikely to cut down on the amount of driving they do during the summer.
In British Columbia, where gas prices have broken all-time records on multiple occasions in recent months, 68 per cent of respondents said they believed Canadians were likely or somewhat likely to drive less during the summer because of rising fuel costs.
Gas prices in the Metro Vancouver area hovered around 169.9 cents on Sunday. The average price of gasoline in major Canadian markets last week was about $1.34 per litre, according to The Canadian Press.
A person selects a high grade of fuel in Toronto after gasoline prices rose overnight on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu)
More than half of the Canadians surveyed said they think that the carbon tax is an ineffective (36 per cent) or somewhat ineffective (19 per cent) way to encourage people to cut down on their fuel use. Twenty-six per cent said it was somewhat effective and 16 per cent said it was effective.
Belief in the effectiveness of the carbon tax was highest in the Prairies, according to the survey, where 67.6 per cent of respondents described it as effective or somewhat effective.
The carbon tax, which came into effect April 1, applies to Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick – the provinces that chose not to adopt their own carbon taxes or cap-and-trade systems to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Alberta’s recently elected premier, Jason Kenney, has promised to repeal the province’s levy on the price of carbon.
The federal government says that 90 per cent of all funds collected from the carbon tax will be given back to citizens of the provinces that repeal the tax in the form of a rebate.
Methodology: Nanos Research conducted the hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,000 Canadians, 18 years old and older, between April 25 and 28. The margin of error for a random survey of 1,000 Canadians is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.