Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Gas Prices Could Spike Overnight by as Much as 4.5 Cents a Litre in Ontario: Gas Prices Could Spike Overnight by 4.5 Cents

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Gas Prices Could Spike Overnight by as Much as 4.5 Cents a Litre in Ontario: Gas Prices Could Spike Overnight by 4.5 Cents

Article excerpt

TORONTO - A car trip across Central Canada is set to become a lot more expensive with pump prices expected to hit their highest levels since the recession in an area spanning Quebec City to Windsor, Ont.

Gas price watchers are predicting as much as a 4.5 cent per litre spike in gasoline prices Wednesday at stations in southern Ontario and Quebec.

Prices are expected to hit 140.1 cents per litre in Toronto, eight per cent higher than at this time last year even though crude oil prices were higher a year ago.

The website Tomorrow's Gas Price Today predicts the most drastic price changes for the Greater Toronto Area, with prices in Ottawa up about three cents a litre, but unchanged in Montreal and Vancouver --where prices are already high.

If the changes do occur, it could send national prices up to 142 cents per litre.

"TGPT has learned that the industry's line for (the) increase is due to the conversion from winter to summer gas," said the website founded by former Liberal member of Parliament and gas price watcher Dan McTeague.

"This is a lame and well-worn excuse. The fact is that fuel specs in Canada, unlike the US, don't change with the season."

While prices across the country vary widely due to various provincial and territorial tax regimes, prices in southern Ontario could hit record highs between 143 to 147 cents by end of this month, said analyst Roger McKnight of Oshawa-based En-Pro International Inc.

"It's going to hit and stick" McKnight said.

"Prices increased nine of the last 10 years in March and April but this year they started in January and they are continuing to roll."

Gas prices usually rise in the spring as refineries shut down to convert from producing diesel to gasoline as the summer driving and vacation months approach.

But this year, a shutdown of four refineries in Pennsylvania as well as five more in Europe has severely cut North American supplies, McKnight said.

The price hikes could also be due to a confluence of other factors, mostly geopolitical events outside of Canada's borders as domestic prices tend to follow those in the U.S. closely.

The reasons for the rising price of gasoline vary -- ranging from higher crude prices on the back of a falling U. …

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