Gas price difference has retailers confused

Darrell Cole
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Gas in N.B. goes down; up in N.S.

Gas price difference has retailers confused

AMHERST  An increase in the price of gasoline has retailers in the Amherst area scratching their heads when the price a few kilometres away in New Brunswick went down a few days earlier.

I knew the price was going to go up here, but I was a little surprised when it went down in New Brunswick. If it went up in both provinces or down in both provinces that would be understandable, but why up in one province and down in the othe? West Amherst Centre Petro-Can operator Roy Pettigrew said Friday.

The price of self-serve regular gasoline went up to $1.09.9 overnight Thursday from around $1.03 a litre. The price of the same gasoline across the border in Aulac, N.B. is selling for $1.00.1.

Dale Madill from Service Nova Scotia said its difficult to compare prices in one province from another because they use different price regimes. For instance, he said, Nova Scotia builds a guarateed profit for independent retailers into the price while New Brunswickers do not pay as much tax as Nova Scotians.

We have a different model than New Brunswick with different policy objectives, Madill said. Depending on when you want to look at it, it delivers different benefits. You cant pick one week and try to judge the policy on it because its designed to work over time.

Madill cant comment on why New Brunswicks price dropped, but said this provinces price is based on the New York Harbour price and that price has increased this week because of low U.S. inventories of gasoline.

Pettigrew, who is also secretary-treasurer of the Nova Scotia Gas Retailers Association, said this should not be used to judge how the provinces year-old regulation system is working.

Regulation was set up to bring stability and to give independent retailers a chance to survive and it has been doing that, he said. Regulation seems to be fine but how theyre adjusting the price between the two provinces is confusing.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Gas Retailers Association

Geographic location: New Brunswick, AMHERST, Nova Scotia Aulac New Brunswickers U.S.

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