Is it time to regulate Gasoline Prices in Ontario? by Jamie Gilcig – June 20, 2013 McEwen Shell

Jamie Gilcig

jg2CFN – Some people ask why I buy my gas for the most part over the border in Akwesasne.    The answer is that I hate getting gouged.  I hate companies playing games.

The gas in Akwesasne is from McEwen which has many stations here in Eastern Ontario.  For the most part gas has been near or around $1.28 per litre or nearly $5.00 per US gallon.

At the usual gas station I purchase from it dropped from $3.54 to $3.45 US gallon or about .90 cents per litre.  That’s over a 40% difference in price.

Why?    It can’t be because of our crazy Canadian taxes because the price was the same in Quebec this past weekend in Valleyfield Quebec.   Quebec has higher taxes on gas than we do here in Ontario.

In nearby Lancaster Ontario gas was hovering around $1.22 per litre.

It’s time for our government to stop gas companies from playing games with consumers.   In a city that has no real inter-city transportation people are dependent on driving for their important trips and work.   It’s insane to tolerate price fixing and gouging isn’t it?

As July rolls around these kinds of games hurt business.  They hurt tourism, and they hurt our local economy that’s already hurting mightily.   One poster on facebook even suggested that they are jacking up prices in Cornwall near cheque times for Seniors and those on fixed incomes.

It’s time for a full investigation of price fixing and gouging of gas prices in our region and maybe even time for some action from our government.  Afterall, they drive too.  Would it be so wrong tying to the price of gasoline to the price per barrel of oil?

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  1. It is $1.28.7 here in Ottawa today and it fluctuates going up and down like a yo yo. People here in Ottawa travel long distances to go to work and it costs way too much to go to work if you are not a high salaried person. Many take the bus where it takes a mighty long time to get to work and back. My daughter used to spend 3 hours a day on two buses.

    Everyone is complaining about the high cost of gas and I even read articles on lately about it. We are too far away to go to the US for gas and we did it a few times before 911. Now I wouldn’t go over there at all. Everyone is feeling the pinch and nowadays especially with businesses going under and people are becoming unemployed. It is the oil companies along with the government who are entangled in this web of deceipt.

  2. Why would you avoid going across the border because of 911?

  3. I avoid going across the border because of 911 of what happened to many Canadians while crossing over. I saw it on the net and I panicked. We have friends living in the US now who are Canadian and we have a friend who goes to Florida every year but after what I saw I said no more. I used to like going over to Massena and they had a shop that sold great muffins and coffee and we would go there at the same time get gas. We never shopped for groceries but we got gas.

    We live too far from the US now in Ottawa and the prices of things are very high.

  4. Eh??? a business man from Cornwall buying gas on the reserve???
    I have been an owner of a gas station for the better part of 20 yrs.
    How many gas loads from a supplier I will not mention, have gone across the border, to have the taxes waived off, only to return here full, and have the fuel dropped in their own stations???
    What border personel has ever looking inside to see if the truck was infact empty??
    Also…fuel delivered across the border is not sellable for the most part here..When the trucks run a load f say diesel fuel…are they cleaned?? no..its called slop when refilled with gas, and sold to the highest bidder which is guess who??
    As a footnote to this… why does the Mohawk Council purchase there fuel here in Cornwall???
    I know.. they do not want sh*t in there cars.
    We used to me now..or pay me later for car repairs.

  5. A serious look at this would be a good thing. Higher fuel costs drive (no pun intended) up delivery costs for our food and consumer goods, and certainly factor in to our available disposable income.
    How can so many stations from different companies maintain the same price, it looks fishy and can’t be just getting the fuel from the same refinery.

  6. We have seen the price rise since the big hurricane hit Mississippi a number of years ago. We have sat complaisantly and did nothing. We complain to our neighbors and friends but actually do nothing serious to show our displeasure of being “ripped off” by the big gas companies. What to do? That is the big question. Does anyone have any recommendations that would influence them? Please share. By the way, the price was 70 cents a liter then.

  7. Today the price of gas at Esso here in Ottawa was $128.1/litre. Yes gasoline has gone up a lot since Katrina but whether it was the hurricane or not the oil companies gouge the people and it is they along with the “banksters as in gangsters” who run the world’s economy and they are running it into the ground and there is nothing that the little people can do. It is all done by design to bankrupt and impoverish the little people so as they can buy up everything with pennies on the dollar. You will see this happen eventually and will make the 30’s Great Depression pale by design. Some economists and forecasters are already saying wait till 2014 to see what is going to happen to the US dollar and when that happens watch out – the world is already having a terrible time just to get by as is.

  8. @Eric
    >How can so many stations from different companies maintain the same price, it looks fishy and can’t be just getting the fuel from the same refinery

    You obviously don’t understand the concept of market supply and demand. The prices are relative simply because if they changed their price, they would lose money. Prices fluctuate on the weekends and payday because that’s when more people are going to buy more gas.

    If you want lower gas prices, stop buying gas.

  9. I personally prefer to use Petro Can or Shell no other gas goes in my car sorry.. The odd time if I am cross border yes I will fill up but mostly I buy here…
    I will not buy McKewen Gas and Admin gas is cheaper in Valleyfield due to being so close to Ontario border they have to or they would not sell any gas…

  10. Jamie did you ever consider that the gas you get on reserve is old gas that the octane level is lower than what you get off reserve.

  11. Author

    Spirit Bear my understanding is that it’s McEwen’s same as we get in Cornwall.

  12. @admin Try running a tank of good gas and see how far you go on it. then fill up with no name cheap reserve gas, and do the same. I have no doubt what the outcome will be.
    Again, as I said before, why?? do some many of our good customers from Akwesasne fill up here in Cornwall???
    For over 15 yrs now the Mohawk Council and for a long while the AMPD only filled up in Cornwall.
    Also Spirit Bear is correct.. very low octane level, Do yourself a favour and interview garage owners here in Cornwall, and ask them how many repairs do they do on vehicles because of buying sh*t gas???
    Like I said before..when we were in the gas business and repair business.. pay me now, or pay me later…
    Above ground storage tanks in our climate tend to get a lot of water (condensation) in them as well.. Here we are severly monitored for bad gas and water in fuel tanks.

  13. Gas prices are fixed by both the government and the oil companies, if anyone is in bed together its these two parties.
    The biggest scam we as Canadians have going is the governments we support who continue to shove crap further down our throats for the better good of their retirements without taking a stand and saying enough is enough.

    Ask Mr. Lauzon what his government has done with this issue over the last few years? oh yes, he blamed the Liberals. So then lets asked Mr. Brownell? oh yes, he blamed the Conservatives.

  14. i went to brockvilee and gaz there was 1.17 and cornwall was 1.28 why i dont understand no wonder cornwall going down people shops in the states for gaz and groceries so cornwall economy is hurting big time theses gaz station needs to lower there rate if they want cornwall to improve some groceries stores are hurting big time roght now and its everytime gaz goes up ashame cornwall gaz station of yourselft for doing that to the people of cornwall

  15. I don’t think that gas companies are to blame. At some times, in our area, we have prices of approximately $1.29 in Cornwall and $1.18 in Alexandria or Lancaster. That’s not the gas companies it’s the gas stations themselves who are adjusting their prices to what they think the market can bear and to maximize their own profits! Gas companies don’t care when welfare and senior’s cheques arrive but the gas stations do! That’s why gas prices are usually always up on weekends, holidays, or when they think they’d like to make more money by gouging everyone. It’s a clique here in Cornwall. Yes, Cornwall where everything seems to be controlled by cliques!

  16. What shoud we do/
    In germany a few years ago, the goverment closed there borders every 2nd weekend for a couple of months,because of high cost of fuel. NOONE was allowed to drive/operate vehicules anywhere in germany ( exception of emergency vehicles).
    Results – Huge fuel reserves and fuel companys had to lower gas prices drastically.
    Anyone caught driving or operating a vehicule, was fined or faced imprisonment for a very short while.
    Just a thought for Canadians

  17. The anti inflation act(1976) served to control profiteering on gasoline until the act self destructed I believe on Dec. 31st 1979. This was a temporary federal act which took control over provincial jurisdictions relating to energy costs among others.

    Gasoline prices at the pumps were fixed in place until the station purchased a new load at a higher price (or lower for that matter) profit margins were preset and penalties were in place for offending operators or suppliers.

    Looking back I believe it was good legislation and we as consumers benefited from better service as a result of the imposed competition to earn our business.

    This type of legislation is in the hands of the provinces and territories and requires special co-operation to be enacted on the federal level.

    I believe it is time again to reign in the energy businesses and offer the already strained consumer some temporary relief before the next round of economic terror begins.

    Any other thoughts on this measure as an immediate means of relief to our collective pocket books ?


    I would dispute your assertion that the Canadian federal government controls gasoline prices in collusion with the oil companies. The Canadian government simply from a taxation perspective has everything to gain (on the surface) from soaring prices. After all this is the basis of a progressive taxation system. However in the long run I believe that lack of some form of control on profits by major corporations ultimately serves a destructive force by driving an underground economy which impacts revenue and ultimately ourselves. This is the very economic cycle we need to avoid at all costs going forward.

    Anyone else have any thoughts ?

  19. Comments from Jim Luciani, June 20,2013, 8:51 P.M.

    “How many gas loads from a supplier I will not mention, have gone across the border, to have the taxes waived off, only to return here full, and have the fuel dropped in their own stations???
    What border personel has ever looking inside to see if the truck was infact empty??”

    Mr. Luciani, in response to your query, regarding the checking of returning tank trucks to Canada (Port of Cornwall) , I can assure you, with much certainty, that returning empty tankers were regularly examined ! Granted, this was not performed 100% of the time, but on a very regular basis to guarantee compliance. Actually, as a foot-note, in the mid seventies, our Agency installed a permanent grounding mechanism to protect our Agents, while examining these very tankers….


    Insp. W.R. Parisien
    CBSA (Ret)

  20. Respectfully, anyone who believes local gas station owners/operators are getting rich off high gas prices or are ”gouging” local drivers have no idea what they’re talking about. You are lucky to make a profit on a litre of gasoline.

    Haven’t you noticed the city is littered with vacant lots? So many ex – gas stations. I wonder why everyone is leaving the business when it’s such a ”get rich quick” scheme.

  21. The comments about the gas quality on First Nations Land are almost or close to racist. Motorists have been using these stations for years without problem
    I’m also sure retired agent Bill checked a lot of empty trucks he had a habit of stopping even legit people..once he had to apologize for his heavy handed actions

  22. Author

    JM I would suggest those empty stations were independents for the most part who were squeezed by the big gas companies. We have a tendency here in North America to have industry develop the regulations they conduct themselves by. They almost always favor the big guys over small business. I spoke with one operator who said that at times the retail price of gas is less than their distributor was charging them.

    Whoever is responsible for price fixing and gouging should be brought down.

  23. Gasoline was $132.2 at Petro here in Ottawa this morning. Talk about robbery that is exactly what the oil companies along with the government are doing. It is time to discover cleaner and better alternative energy soon especially after what happened in Québec. Even if the oil and gas were sent through pipes the same thing could have occurred. That stuff is very dangerous indeed.

  24. This yo yo effect thats been going on in Brockville for the past few weeks need to be investagated as to WHY its jumping 10 cents + when a barrel isn`t changing and other areas around are not changing watch usa prices that don`t do this WHY ?

  25. Craig….It’ll never be investigated. The governments, federal and provincial, get too much tax revenue from gas sales. And if they ever did investigate gas prices they would come out with the typical response….there is no collusion. We’ve seen that response so many times before.

  26. Craig there are factors at play that most do not fully understand or simply are not taking into account. Oil is purchased by contract and has to be refined. The price of a barrel today affects the price at the pump in the future. People see the price of a barrel of oil plummet and fail to understand why the price at the pump is not immediately affected. This is only one of many factors which control day to day pricing increases and decreases. Overall prices will continue to decline with adjustments which reflect past values paid.
    I will predict based on my investor experience that prices will not increase anytime soon and that provincially Ontario taxpayers will see some of their gas savings swept up by new taxation measures put in place by the Wynn Liberal Government. A move of desperation that we will pay for dearly when the price of a barrel rises yet again. Start paying down your personal debt and making sure that your rainy day account is well funded.

  27. Hugger1 governments in the past have taken action on gas profiteering. Temporary anti-profiteering measures established in the mid seventies automatically expired December 31st 1979 if my memory serves me correctly. The price of gas during that time could not rise at the pumps until a load of gas was delivered to the station at a price that would support an increase at the pumps. This was a Liberal temporary act to address the inflation of the times. Economic solutions of the past are not necessarily the answer of the future as we continue to alter the playing surface of the economic game.

  28. David Oldham….past governments have acted, yes. But when in recent memory, say since the 80’s, has a government acted against obvious collusion? NEVER!!

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