THUNDER BAY – The price of gasoline in Northwestern Ontario is running far higher than southern Ontario. There is a difference of almost 15 cents per litre from Toronto to Thunder Bay.
High fuel prices have been a political hot potato, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Premier Doug Ford is on record questioning the high prices for gasoline in Northwestern Ontario.
Premier Ford on May 2, 2020, on Gas Prices
“Are the gas companies just trying to gouge people. We’re going to get an explanation of the gas prices because it’s unacceptable. Absolutely unacceptable.”
Premier Ford says that Kenora MPP and Minister of Energy Greg Rickford is on this issue and will get to the bottom of it.
Gas prices across the Northwest have been higher than the rest of Ontario, and the subject of a lot of speculation as to why they remain so high.
The price of a litre of gasoline in Thunder Bay is $0.959 per litre on May 12, 2020. By comparison, in Toronto gasoline is averaging $0.795.
That difference in price is causing political waves.
There is reduced demand as drivers are not travelling as much, however that could change as people start travelling again.
“Gasoline demand continues to rebound across the U.S. as more states re-open, with a week on week rise of nearly 5%, according to data from GasBuddy’s free payments card. The boost in demand has led oil and gasoline prices to rally, and as long as states continue to loosen restrictions, it’ll mean more motorists on the roads and filling their tank,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “Most states saw prices rise last week, but yet again Great Lakes states, which were the largest beneficiaries of ultra-low prices, saw the most pain as retail gasoline prices fall back into their normal territory against the national average. For now, the continued recovery in gas prices will nearly completely depend on improvement in the coronavirus situation, as so long as refineries boost production again as demand continues to rise again.”
The price of oil is one component in the price of a litre of gasoline. There are the taxes, and the profits that the oil companies and service stations need.
However the $0.15 price difference from southern Ontario to Northern Ontario is very significant.