Lower gas prices in the north may still be facing 'fixed transportation costs'
SUDBURY -- Despite what looks like great prices, gas in the north is still priced significantly higher than in Southern Ontario.
Timmins-James Bay MP, Charlie Angus, says in the Timmins region, drivers are paying around 40 cents more than those in Ottawa.
He has written to the competition bureau requesting an investigation into the high gas prices.
"So why is it when the market price for oil is so low, they tell us that the price at the pump is still high?" said Angus. "It doesn't make sense. Given the economic uncertainty that we're facing I think it's fair to say 'stop hosing us, get a better price in place and make sure we can get through this economic downturn.'"
Patrick De Hann is the Head of Petroleum Analysis at Gas Buddy, a company that displays gas prices in real-time via their mobile app and website.
He says the reduced gas prices are related to a lesser demand for oil, as people adjust their lives in light of COVID-19.
However, De Hann didn't have a specific answer for why the north is still paying so much more than southern Ontario.
"Everyone goes down at a different pace. Some competition lowers prices quicker," said De Hann. "Rural areas tend to fall much slower because they have to sell their existing gas that they bought at a much higher price."
De Hann adds that the north could also be facing "fixed transportation costs" which would keep our prices higher than Southern Ontario.
As a whole, drivers are happy about the lower gas bills.
"It's a good thing that it's going down right now. I guess it's with everything happening in society that I can see it going down even further," said one driver Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, others are happy but say our prices still aren't low enough.
"It's good to see them cheaper, but I just filled up in Toronto yesterday for 75 cents per litre and now it's still 98 here. I just don't know why it hasn't gotten cheaper here yet."
"It's about time gas prices go down here. You drive down south and it's cheaper than it is up here all the time…it's like we're being punished because we choose to live up north."
De Hann says that right now, there is no way of knowing how long gas prices will stay this low.