Global conflict hitting Scarborough motorists at the pump

Ripples from the conflict a world away in Libya and the Middle East are being felt by Scarborough residents at the gas pump.

“It’s affecting me really badly,” said Sharon Harbans, a resident of Scarborough East. “I really have to watch now where I go, what I use the car to do, and it’s really starting to change my life and the way I do things.

“Something needs to be done soon because it’s a really scary situation.”

The turmoil in Libya and the Middle East is causing an increased rising price of crude oil and making prices at the gas pumps even higher. Residence of Scarborough are affected and are unhappy. Listen to the audio report by Toronto Observer’s Christina Cheng.

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According to the International Energy Agency, Libya is the world’s eighth-largest oil supplier in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting countries.

And even though Canada does not get its oil from Libya, disruptions in supply there affects gas prices here.

Students are also feeling the pinch.

Anne, a full-time student at Centennial College, said she can no longer afford her car.

“I used to drive a Ford Explorer and it was costing me approximately $200 a week in gas just to get to and from work,” she said. “I couldn’t afford it.

“I think it’s outrageous. It’s too expensive.”

McMaster University student Tanja Sousa drives every week to visit family and friends in Scarborough, and commutes to work near Queen Street West every weekend.

“When I do fill up, it’s costing me over $50,” she said. “I think it’s also ridiculous when [gas prices] go from … $1.16 one day to like over $1.23 the next day.”

Budgeting for gas is becoming difficult and she might end up selling her car, Sousa said.

“It’s kind of like a double-edged sword: If I really want to get around I need to have a car, but if I can’t pay for gas I don’t know what I’m going to do then,” she said.

One Petro Canada customer, who didn’t want her name published, said she sympathizes with young people stuck in a generation where everything costs too much.

“All these additional HST and additional taxes … this generation is going to have it the most difficult between tuition increases, transportation increases, gas increases, everything increases,” she said.