18 Nov

Gas Prices Gouging Ontario Drivers

Posted in News on 18.11.10 by John Meloche

At Synergy Marketing Consultants, we happily offer great products at great prices. We feel that it is important for customers to believe that they are receiving an excellent value for the money that they are spending. When consumers feel that they are not getting good value for their money, it’s natural for them to become disgruntled.

Perhaps that’s putting it lightly for drivers in Ontario, as of late. As Bryan Borzykowski reports in a special to The Toronto Star today, “gasoline prices and making a lot of people angry in Ontario.” With gas prices shooting up to a $1.10 in recent days, most drivers are feeling ripped off at the pumps.

In just three weeks, the price of gas has spiked by 5 per cent. Many Ontario drivers are looking for answers. And while it may not help out their wallets very much, Borzykowski attempts to offer up some reasons as to why the prices at the pumps have skyrocketed.

Firstly, he mentions, Shell Canada closed down a refinery in Montreal this past September. According to Dan McTeague, the Liberal MP for Pickering-Scarborough East who monitors gas prices, this now-closed refinery was responsible for supplying eastern Canada with 10 per cent of its gas requirements.

Now that Shell is buying gas from other suppliers instead of getting it from the 130,000 barrels a day that was being produced by the Montreal refinery, drivers in Ontario and Quebec are all paying the price at the pumps…literally. Said McTeague: “It’s significant. We’ve all allowed too many mergers and now there are too few players to feed the demand.”

Let’s not forget this past year’s inception of the Harmonized Sales Tax in Ontario, reminds Borzykowski. Ontarians used to pay 5 per cent GST on gasoline, he reports. Now they pay 13 per cent thanks to HST. McTeague estimates that Ontario drivers are paying 8.8 cents more now than they were before HST took effect on the first of July.

Borzykowski also notes that the price of crude oil has increased. A barrel has jumped from about $70 U.S. to as high as $88. Don’t forget, reminds McTeague, that the rising Canadian dollar is not allowing importers to trade as they were when the loonie was weaker.

Then there are a bunch of other factors that people don’t have a lot of control over. “Everything from the general economic outlook to oil spills and hurricanes affect prices during different times of the year,” writes Borzykowski. “Bummer,” says drivers all across Ontario.

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