WASAGA BEACH, ONT. -- The price at the pumps has slightly inched upwards in recent weeks.

While Ontario and much of the country languishes in lockdown, people are back on the road in the United States, and that's driving up demand for gasoline, according to Georgian College business professor Norman Smith.

Smith said that demand is putting upward pressure on gas prices. "If people are demanding oil and gas relative to what's happening on supply, you expect prices to increase."

Gas prices plunged during the first wave of the global pandemic, but have been on an upward trend ever since.

Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, said taxes have gone up as well. "We are looking at year over year in carbon taxes, and even with the increase in the valuation of the dollar, that's not enough to stop prices from rising," McTeague said in an interview with CTV News.

Those carbon taxes are scheduled to increase another 425 per cent over the next decade, but a smouldering legal battle over an ageing crude oil pipeline could have a far more significant and immediate impact on the price at the pump.

Consumers have their eyes on yet another factor - inflation - that's already apparent in some sectors of the economy.

"It's just the nature of the beast," said contractor Edward Monk. "You can't raise everything else and not have gas, lumber and everything follow."

According to Canadians for Affordable Energy, gasoline prices could rise 15 to 45 cents per litre throughout the summer.