June 22nd, 2024

Passing on the gas

By Collin Gallant on July 14, 2018.

Pumps at the Husky outlet in Redcliff were closed Friday after the owner posted a notice this week saying that her wholesale cost had risen above what market will bear and she wouldn't sell regular gas at a loss. The note asked consumers to contact the supplier with objections. --NEWS PHOTO COLLIN GALLANT


The owner of a Redcliff gasbar took the unusual step this week of shutting down sales of regular gasoline saying that she can’t sell it for what refineries are charging her.

It adds a twist to a series of ups and downs in fuel prices in the Medicine Hat region since late June, during which prices would often climb more than 10-cents per litre in one go, only to drop often on the same day.

Redcliff Husky took the unusual step of halting sales this week. On Friday the regular gas pump handles were bagged, and a notice posted.

The owner didn’t respond to messages left on Friday, but a sign on the pumps this week stated the outlet was “losing five to ten cents” on every litre of fuel compared to supplier prices higher than “market price.”

Redcliff resident Kevin Pace called the News to support the owner, saying he’s infuriated with gas prices and major oil companies.

“It’s getting to the point where (station) owners can’t make a profit,”

“I don’t know why we, as Canadians, put up with it.”

Pace isn’t the only customer in Medicine Hat wondering what’s happening with prices.

See Rates, Page A2

The local rates for gasoline have yo-yo’ed for several weeks, during which time several stations have raised and lowered their price in the same day.

Dan McTeague, of Gasbuddy.com, told the Canadian Press last week that the biggest cause of price jumps in Alberta were “shenanigans” of retailers who hadn’t passed on recent increases in wholesale prices. Now they are trying to catch up while competing with each other for sales.

“These prices will turtle but the point is that we are testing levels that have never been seen before,” he said.

Overall, Medicine Hat had the lowest gasoline prices in the province on Friday. Seven locations listed on GasBuddy.com posted prices in the $1.24 per litre range. That’s a whole dime less than the provincial average price of $1.335.

However a number of stations do have gas priced above $1.30, often across the street from other retailers with lower prices.

Last week, the price rise across Alberta, punched the national average pump price for gasoline to a five-year high of $1.36 per litre. That’s up from $1.05 one year earlier and near the previous high of $1.39 in June 2013.

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