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Pain at the pumps: How gas in the Maritimes has jumped by as much 37% since November

The Maritimes have seen their gas prices jump as much as 37 per cent since Nov. The Canadian Press

It may not have gained much notice but the price of gas has slowly and steadily been climbing in the Maritimes and hitting the wallets of residents.

An analysis by Global News shows that gas prices in the region have steadily increased since the beginning of November.

In Nova Scotia, the increase has been more prominent than the two other provinces — New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

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On the week of Nov . 6, Nova Scotians were paying a maximum price of 90.9¢ per litre for regular unleaded gas at self-service pumps.

Three months later, with the price of gas jumping by a little more than 4 cents since last week, the same product costs 124.7¢ per litre.

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That’s a 37 per cent increase and a substantial hit to the province’s residents.

In the other provinces in the region the story is much the same.

On the week of Nov . 6, New Brunswickers were paying a maximum of 95.1¢ per litre for regular unleaded gas at self-service pumps.

Now, they’re paying 121.6 ¢ per litre, or a 28 per cent increase.

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In Prince Edward Island, residents were paying a maximum of 95¢ per litre for regular unleaded gas at self-service pumps during the week of Nov. 6.

That’s jumped by 28 per cent to 122.9¢ per litre.

The week-to-week increases have not been enough to trigger provincial regulations colloquially known as interrupter clauses.

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Those clauses allow provincial regulators to respond to “sudden and significant spikes, up or down, in petroleum” prices, according to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.

Each province has a different standard by which they are able to invoke the interrupter.

In Nova Scotia that clause is only invoked when there’s a price jump in a range of +/- 6 to 8 Canadian cents per litre when compared to the weekly benchmark price.

New Brunswick must interrupt the market price if the change in one day is 6 cents or more in comparison to the day before.

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In Prince Edward Island, there is no set formula for the interrupter and it is the sole discretion of the province’s regulator.

The last time Nova Scotia invoked the interrupter clause for gasoline was 13 months ago on March 17, 2020, amid plunging gas prices.

A few weeks later, during the week of March 27, Nova Scotians saw the price at the pumps reach a low of 64.1 cents.

At the beginning of that month, Nova Scotians were paying a minimum of $1.059 cents per litre for gasoline, which means prices at the pump dropped by a total of 41.8 cents in just four weeks.

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