Gas prices in Edmonton hold firm while Eastern Canada enjoys discount at the pumps

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While Eastern Canadians enjoy a 10-cent savings at the pumps, drivers in Alberta are left to wonder just where their discount is.

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Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, said it concerns him that there is an apparent reluctance to drop prices at the retail level.

“It seems to be more of a phenomenon in Western Canada than in Eastern Canada with the exception of Vancouver,” said McTeague.

Last weekend there were stations in Toronto that dropped to $1.34 per litre from $1.49 per litre. The website GasBuddy shows those lower prices have stayed for the most part during the past week.

Edmontonians, meanwhile, are left to shop around for bargains.

Prices at the pumps vary depending on where you are in the city. GasBuddy lists the price of gasoline as low as $1.14.9 per litre and as high as $1.37.9 per litre.

“It is remarkable, thankfully, in Edmonton you have that choice of driving a little further and finding a cheaper station. It just seems to me that gas stations are doing themselves no favours increasing their profits in the short term when in the long term it builds public cynicism,” said McTeague.

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McTeague predicted last week that gasoline prices would drop and questions why gas stations in Eastern Canada chose to pass the savings on and stations in Western Canada chose not to.

The rack price (the price that refineries charge to wholesalers) for regular gas according to both Shell Canada and Petro-Canada as of Saturday is 73 cents per litre. Add the federal tax of 10 cents per litre,  the provincial tax of 13 cents per litre, the carbon tax of 8.84 cents a litre and that equals $1.04.84. Then add the GST and you have $1.10.1, which is how much retailers pay for the gas. What’s added at the pump is the retail margin.

McTeague says he wants the industry to survive and he wants people to have a better understanding of how the industry functions. McTeague said he doesn’t know and it’s anyone’s guess why Edmontonians or Albertans didn’t see a bigger drop in the price at the pump .

“The tried and true is the wholesale price difference and if last Sunday every station across Alberta received a 9.7 cent decrease in wholesale prices, which is what happened, one would have expected within a reasonable period of time you would start to see those prices reflected,” said McTeague.

— with files from Postmedia

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