May 26th, 2018

Prices at the pump headed higher as long weekend brings out Canadian drivers

By The Canadian Press on May 18, 2018.

A gas pump is pictured in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 30, 2018. Motorists in many parts of Canada are expected to see rising gasoline prices as they fire up their vehicles for road adventures on the Victoria Day long weekend. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

CALGARY – Motorists in many parts of Canada are expected to see rising gasoline prices as they fire up their vehicles for road adventures on the Victoria Day long weekend.

But fuel market analyst Dan McTeague of GasBuddy.com says price direction will vary across the nation over the next few days, with prices actually expected to fall from recent peaks in Alberta and Quebec.

He says prices for regular gasoline in Toronto, Ottawa and most of the rest of Ontario are expected to rise by one cent per litre on Friday and another cent on Saturday, reaching an average of 140.9 cents per litre, the highest since June 29, 2014.

He says gas prices in New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador went up Thursday by more than two cents, Vancouver prices are expected to rise by a cent or two, and Manitoba and Saskatchewan, which had the cheapest gas prices in the country, are expected to see price increases of five to seven cents.

Quebec prices of about $1.48 per litre are expected to fall by as much as 10 cents over the weekend and Alberta prices of around $1.35 are to slump by about four cents due to local retail market pressures.

McTeague says Canadian gas stations follow prices set in the much larger fuel markets in the United States but are inflated by the current low value of the Canadian dollar compared to the American greenback.

“We said this would be the highest price (in four years) … but honest to God, I never thought it would be this high,” said McTeague.

Kent Group vice-president Jason Parent says higher fuel prices at this time of year are to be expected because increased demand allows retailers to build in bigger profit margins.

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