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Rising gasoline prices pinch pockets in West Kootenay

Gasoline prices in parts of the West Kootenay continued their upward march Wednesday, rising 2.5 cents per litre, similar to what was happening across the province and the country.

The increase followed a 6.5-cents-per-litre jump the day before in some areas.

The increases means the average price for a litre of regular is just under $1.38.9 in Nelson, $1.35.9 in Nakusp and Castlegar, and as low as $1.24.9 in Slocan Park, while across the country it rose to $1.47 in Montreal, just over $1.41 in the Toronto area. In Ottawa, the price rose to $1.35, and in Vancouver it rose to $1.40.

The price of gas remains at record levels although the average gasoline price in West Kootenay and across Canada fell slightly over the past week, according to a weekly price survey released Tuesday.

However, the price of gas is expected to rise as tourist season nears, a historic time of the year for the price per liter of gas to increase.

High and low across the country

Kent Marketing Services said the average price of regular gasoline in Canada stands at $1.354 a litre, down 0.3 cents from a week earlier.

Crude oil has been selling for just over $100 U.S. a barrel, closing at just below $104 U.S. a barrel Tuesday.

The lowest price among the communities surveyed by Kent was in Lloydminster, Alta., at $1.164 a litre, down 5.5 cents from last week. Another major decline in prices was in Kamloops, where the average price fell nine cents to $1.194.

Edmonton was among the lowest-priced locales in the country with an average price of $1.179 a litre, down four cents from a week earlier.

Looking at some of the other major Canadian markets: gasoline prices were even with last week in Victoria at $1.319 a litre; down 1.7 cents to $1.38 in Vancouver; down two cents to $1.219 in Calgary; up 0.2 cent to $1.319 in Regina; even at $1.319 in Saskatoon; up 0.2 cent to $1.328 in Ottawa; down 3.2 cents to $1.298 in Windsor, Ont.; and down 3.2 cents to $1.383 in Montreal.

The gouge meter

Gas prices in Canada are soaring even though the price of oil is well below recent highs.

In order to help Canadians know what they should be paying for gas, the CCPA  developed an online gasoline price gouge meter using calculations by Hugh Mackenzie, based on his 2007 analysis, Gas Price Gouge: The Sequel.

The CCPA’s Gas Gouge Meter measures in real time the difference between current retail prices in 20 cities in Canada and what would be a normal price, based on current crude oil prices, current exchange rates and normal profit margins for gasoline refining, distribution and marketing.

From the blog

Tonight’s drop in gas prices is certainly welcome news however refineries in Canada continue to charge an unacceptable premium of five to eight cents per litre above world price for wholesale gasoline.  

This is unacceptable and warrants the attention of public policy makers in Canada to set aside the nonsense advanced by the industries apologists that the price you pay is based on market fundamentals.

As has been clearly demonstrated in the past ten days, this is not the case. We renew and use this opportunity to call for – in Canada – the equivalent of the Weekly Public Petroleum Inventory Report, which prompted today’s market correction, to determine an honest and accurate assessment of the supply and demand picture for Canadians.

We also urge the federal government to abandon its resistance in joining the U.S. and Europe in creating better regulation of our global commodities and derivatives markets. Enjoy the relief while we can.