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Thibeault questions feds over spike in gas prices

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Apr 29, 2014 - 5:33 PM |
Gas prices have increased substantially since the beginning of April, from $1.28 a litre to almost $1.38 a litre. Prices were as high as $1.45 in Sudbury on Tuesday. Photo from gasbuddy.com

Gas prices have increased substantially since the beginning of April, from $1.28 a litre to almost $1.38 a litre. Prices were as high as $1.45 in Sudbury on Tuesday. Photo from gasbuddy.com

Prices have shot up more than 10 cents a litre in April

 The recent double-digit surge in gas prices has the New Democrats repeating their calls for the federal government to name an ombudsman to keep an eye on the fluctuating prices at the pump.

NDP Consumer Affairs critic Glenn Thibeault, who's also the MP for Sudbury, called on the governing Conservatives to create the watchdog position “to ensure fairness for consumers.”


“Mr. Speaker, another holiday weekend, and what a coincidence, Canadians was once again squeezed at the gas pumps,” Thibeault said in the House of Commons Monday. “Gas jumped five cents overnight before Easter and has risen 22 cents a litre from a year ago. Prices have hit a three-year high.”

In response, Industry Minister James Moore said the Tory's Fairness at the Pumps Act “will do exactly what the member described, which is to stand up to any unfairness that Canadians are seeing and empower the Competition Bureau.

“On top of that, we have already seen fines imposed on those who have abused Canadian consumers,” Moore added.

Since the beginning of April, the average price for a litre of gasoline in Ontario has risen from $1.28 to almost $1.38. In Sudbury as of Tuesday afternoon, prices for a litre of regular gas ranged from $1.35 to $1.45.

Analysts have attributed the increase to a number of factors, including fears over Russia's intentions in the Ukraine. According to the website, tomorrowsgaspricetoday.com, the weaker Canadian dollar is also a factor, since prices are set in U.S. money.

After years of near parity, the loonie has since slid and is now worth about 91 cents. Plus, much of Europe depends on natural gas piped into the EU through Ukraine, and disruptions to supply would have a major impact on global prices.

More detailed information on local gas prices can be found at www.ontariogasprices.com.

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