With Canada's prices at the pump setting record highs, many are wondering where to place the blame. Whether it be the Russia-Ukraine conflict, carbon tax or poor policy, Torontonians at gas stations are unanimous in saying that prices need to come down.
“It's hard for people who drive Uber, or have to drive for work,” one Uber driver told us.
While narratives are circling from corporate media in the West about Russian oil imports being to blame, and it being a “sacrifice” that North Americans should endure to hinder Vladimir Putin's military advances, few are focused on the economic realities of this story arc.
For example, in December 2021, the United States purchased over 12.5 million barrels of crude oil from Russia. At a price of $95.20 USD per barrel, this averages over $14b USD of purchases for an entire year. This would account for just under one per cent (.89%) of the Russian GDP (approx. $1.6 trillion).
As well, Canada does not even import any crude oil from Russia:
“While Canada has imported very little amounts in recent years, this measure sends a powerful message,” said Justin Trudeau.
Other outlets have called it a “symbolic move” to ban Russian oil imports. Simply put, the idea that barring Russian oil imports is a big hit to Putin from North America is 'mostly false'.