Alberta drivers were fuming mad after discovering fuel prices jumped more than just a few cents at many gas stations Tuesday.
“I was quite blown away because I paid $1.43 (per litre) for the longest time,” Calgary driver Wendy Yagos said.
“That’s a ridiculous jump.”
Not only did prices jump substantially, they were also all across the board Tuesday. Global News did a quick drive across Calgary to check out the fluctuating prices and found they varied from as low as $1.359 to as high as $1.639.
Most gas stations across Calgary the day before — Monday — were charging $1.439.
“I think these prices are insane,” Calgarian Patrick Mitchell said.
Mitchell, who is a roofer with Action Roofing and Siding, told Global News he is fed up with filling up every week and not knowing how much he will be paying. He added the flip-flop prices have not only cost the company money, but business as well.
“It’s a massive cost and it makes you think when taking other jobs on the other side of the city, ‘Is it even worth it for me to go over there?'”
Energy analysts told Global News high gas prices are impacting drivers across Canada.
“It’s not gouging,” Paul Pasco said.
“We’re seeing it across the country.”
Pasco, a principal consultant with Kalibrate, said the industry is being challenged by severe weather as well as some supply chain issues.
“It started with some refinery outages in the midwestern U.S. There was another refinery that went down in Washington which is hitting the West Coast a bit harder, and we’ve had some issues with the ethanol supply chain.”
Pasco said while Calgary’s price hikes may seem bad to some, others have it worse, including Edmonton and Vancouver.
“Calgary hasn’t moved up percentage wise as much as some of the other markets in Canada,” he said. “So there still is room for them to go up further.”
Many drivers Global News spoke with also questioned what happened to an investigation into fuel pricing launched in July by the UCP government.
Global News reached out to the province and were told Service Alberta’s consumer investigations unit “is looking into whether any retailers are engaging in unfair practices.”
“Service Alberta will continue to monitor the fuel marketplace for potential evidence of contraventions, and take action if needed,” the government said.
When we asked whether any action had been taken to date, we were told “no.”
The hikes come about a week after the province announced it had decided to re-instate part of its fuel tax on the price of gasoline and diesel. It suspended the full 13 cents per litre tax earlier this year as a way to combat rising fuel prices. Part of it will be re-instated on Oct. 1.
Still, Pasco doesn’t believe the hikes are tied to that decision.
“It is just coincidental timing,” he said.