Ontario premier calls cost of gas ‘absolutely disgusting,’ raises price-gouging concerns

Click to play video: 'Doug Ford blasts ‘disgusting’ overnight gas price hike in Ontario'
Doug Ford blasts ‘disgusting’ overnight gas price hike in Ontario
Speaking at an event on Thursday in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, Premier Doug Ford slammed gas companies after a double-digit gas price increase across parts of Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) – Apr 18, 2024

Ontario drivers woke up to an average fuel price of 170.2 cents per litre on Thursday and Premier Doug Ford was among those frustrated by the gas price increase.

During a question and answer period at a stop in Oakville, Ont., Ford went off on gas prices, mentioning concerns about price gouging and comparisons to gas prices south of the border.

Why did gas prices go up?

The average price of gas in Ontario climbed 7.7 cents overnight due to the change from winter to summer gasoline, but depending on where you are in the province you may have seen a jump as high as 22.3 cents.

Story continues below advertisement

“You go out last night and you’re sitting there for 20 minutes in the line up to get gas, you know, and it’s unacceptable. Everywhere I was going, it was about a buck, 59. You wake up this morning and it’s $1.80. You know, it’s absolutely disgusting.”

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

Ford first aimed his frustration at oil companies, wondering if tanks at the gas station are drained of winter gas overnight or if consumers are being gouged.

“I have my opinion that it’s not physically possible to drain every single gas station and put the fresh stuff in, so either you’re putting the fresh stuff in last month or you’re gouging the people right now.”

He then pointed to prices in the United States, particularly in Illinois and Minnesota, which have similar climates, where prices have not gone up.

When do gas prices go up?

However, Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, said those US markets (as well as Western Canada and northwestern Ontario) made the switch from winter to summer gasoline on March 15 as those regions are tied to the Chicago comprehensive prices while most of Ontario’s prices are tied to what happens in the New York Harbour, which switched to the summer blend on April 16.

Story continues below advertisement

“More often than not, the refiners will have already begun putting, refined summer blend gasoline even before that date. But that’s the date in which they had to charge it.”

While McTeague conceded that it is possible that not all the gas stations have switched over and that some people are buying winter gasoline at summer gasoline prices, he stressed that the price is not based on the cost of gas within the station, but rather on how much the station will have to pay to replace that gas.

Gas prices across Ontario

Southwestern Ontario:

  • Sarnia: average price 178.9 cents per litre, up 22.3 cents from Wednesday
  • Windsor: average price 177.6 cents per litre, up 15.7 cents
  • London: average price 171.1 cents per litre, up 7.1 cents
  • Kitchener: average price 173.1 cents per litre, up nine cents
  • Guelph: average price 178.9 cents per litre, up 15.3 cents

Central Ontario:

Story continues below advertisement
  • Hamilton: average price 169.8 cents per litre, up nine cents
  • Toronto: average price 169.7 cents per litre, up 8.1 cents
  • Barrie: average price 172.2 cents per litre, up 11.3 cents

Eastern Ontario:

  • Kingston: average price 179.9 cents per litre, up 16 cents
  • Peterborough: average price 169.9 cents per litre, up 12.3 cents
  • Ottawa: average price 173.1 cents per litre, up 13.3 cents

Sponsored content