Quebec, Quebec – Gasoline prices have been too high in the Greater Quebec City region over the last 40 days, even though motorists in several regions of the province have enjoyed prices that are fluctuating or remaining low, according to CAA-Quebec.
The association said that the average retail margin on gasoline in Quebec City has remained close to eight cents a litre since November 10, even reaching 12 cents per litre on one occasion. In comparison, the average provincial margin calculated by the Régie de l’énergie has been 5.1 cents per litre for the last 52 weeks.
“Since November 10, the price at the pump in the Quebec City region has been above CAA-Quebec’s realistic price as shown on its Gasoline Watch microsite,” said Sophie Gagnon, CAA-Quebec senior director of public and government relations. “In addition, even when the product replacement cost (the cost of acquisition) heads lower, the price at the pump does not follow the same trend. This means motorists are not benefiting from the lower product cost when filling up, since the industry is not adjusting its price downward. That probably represents tens of thousands of dollars the industry has been taking from motorists’ pockets without cause.”
CAA-Quebec also noted that in Sherbrooke, the price at the pump remained unchanged since October 8, except for one morning, and at 109.4 cents per litre, Sherbrooke motorists have been supporting an average retail margin of 2.5 cents per litre since November 10, well below the average provincial margin. In Montreal, motorists have had to contend with a fluctuating retail margin that has averaged 5.7 cents per litre since that date, although it is close to the margin observed by CAA-Quebec for the Montreal region in the last 52 weeks.
“A market is healthy if it fluctuates,” Gagnon said. “It is true that Montreal motorists have had to face increases and higher margins during this same period, but at least the market adjusts more quickly. In the course of a week, it is thus possible to fill up at prices closer to market indicators. This unfortunately is not the case in Quebec City.”