Letters to the Editor – from K.Hildingson

Something is wrong with local gasoline prices

To the Editor:

To all the operators of the gas stations in Slave Lake:

You should be ashamed of yourselves charging exorbitant prices for fuel. $189.9/L is not a reasonable price. Both High Prairie and Athabasca are at $168.9, yet you feel it is appropriate to charge these high prices. I am going to show in this letter that your prices are out of line with what is appropriate and show that you are gouging the consumers.

First, the cost of fuel is based on the rack price (wholesale) which varies daily and geographically. As I am writing this letter it is $106.50/L based on Edmonton Price (June 22).

Then to that price you add the federal excise tax of 10 cents/L and the federal carbon tax of 21 cents/l, which gives us a sub total of $137.50/L. To that you calculate the five per cent GST, giving us a price of $144.38. This price covers your cost. Now I know you need to have some profit so let’s assume 10 cents/litre. Now we have a price of $154.38; call it $1.55/L.

According to Dan McTeague, the President of Canadians for Affordable Energy in an article in the Calgary Herald, “12 cents per litre is considered a good retail markup and 15 is almost unheard of — Montreal is at eight cents per litre, Toronto is at 8.5 and Vancouver is at seven.”

If we do the math here in town $189.9 – $1.55 we get a mark up (profit) of 35 cents/litre.

Further comparing prices, the price as of this date, June 22, in the GTA (Toronto) is $178.6 (which is cheaper than us) and Vancouver is $191.6 (essentially the same price). We can further see something wrong with the prices here in town.

Playing devil’s advocate, you may say that you must sell off your fuel that you purchased (already in the tanks) at a higher price before you can lower the pump price.

I witnessed one station in town got a fuel delivery on June 20, where the rack price was around $1.10.6 and they did not lower their price.

As of July 8 the wholesale price was $1.27/L (should’ve been charging $1.55.4/L). The fact that they needed to fill means that they have burned through that gas. Did they change their pump price? NOPE!
And let’s assume that a gas station ONLY sells gas, then maybe we can allow a bit more of a mark up on the fuel, but we all know that is not that case. Go in a buy a pop or a bag of chips and compare the prices there to what you would pay at a grocery store, we know they are making a profit on their store items as well.

Secondly, there are two stations in town that are selling gas at the appropriate prices, around $1.50/L. Thank you, Max Fuel, and Green Leaf Fuel. You have earned a loyal customer in this author.

It is absolutely apparent that the gas stations in town are ripping us off. It is time for us to:

1) Stop shopping there
2) Tell everyone you know where to get fuel (Max and Green Leaf)
3) Call our MLA and demand the government follow through with their promise to “watch these stations like a hawk”

Slave Lake

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