Higher commodity prices take gas grices to highest level in 2009
Gas Pump Calibration Coincidental Email Chain

Gas Prices: Up at little? Yes, but compared to what?


I heard some of the usual radio bits about the gas prices going up because of the Victoria Day weekend.  First off, I hope everyone had a safe and happy long weekend.  Second, now that the fireworks are over, let's pause for a little context. 

Crude oil and wholesale gasoline prices have been on an upward tick on the commodity markets the last few weeks, taking the price at the pump up a few cents per litre.  So, compared to a few days ago, gas prices are up.  But take a look at the chart above that maps out Canadian average gas prices for the last three years.  The red one represents the year we're living in.  The blue one is last year and the green...well the year before that (2007).  So, while gas prices have eked up in recent days, your May Long weekend fill up cost you about $20 less than it did last year.  Not bad.  If Queen Victoria's face was on the $20 bill, I'd have a great ending to this post.  Instead, I'll settle for the $20 portrait of Queen Elizabeth that's now tucked safely into my jeans. 

Chart: Fuel Focus


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Phil McGrath

I don't care about your graph, and averages over the last three years. The average price should be down this year because of what it happening right now in the global economy. How do you explain this: London this morning the price at the name brand stations is between 96.4 and 97.7. Then, reports on the radio say, that Michigan is paying the equivalent of 71. That difference doesn't make up for the extra taxes that we pay in Canada. You know you're getting gouged when Dan McTague (liberal gas price predictor) even says there's no reason for the price to be so high. The Canadian economy will be crippled if this keeps up. It's ridiculous, and more people need to speak up.


Keep in mind though, that we just got through a major recession, so gas prices will start lower than the years where we weren't in economic turmoil

Kyle from BC

I'm not usually one to whine about gas prices. (It’s still less than a quarter the price of bottled water) But I did have one question.

Petro-Canada and other Canadian Gas retailers receive revenues primarily in Canadian Dollars (from Canadian fuel customers). They then must covert these Canadian dollars to American dollars before buying crude oil (as all oil is valued in USD).

So then my question is: If the value of crude oil rises by 10% and the value of the Canadian dollar rises 10% and they are both valued in US dollars shouldn't Canadian dollars maintain the same purchasing power? (Fuel prices remain the same?)

I wouldn't mind seeing a graph of the changes in value of the Canadian dollar and crude oil (in percentage) relative to the average Canadian pump cost.

Thanks folks.

pedro kanada

Thanks to your policy" comments are moderated"and,just like gas prices your going to show me what's in your BEST INTEREST just like the ever rising cost of gas!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for prolonging the recession!!!!!!

P.S. are you hiring I could lose you a million a day...For A modest salary of $20 million a year...If this is to hefty of a price tag we can raise the price at the pumps and make some ground in the commodities market!!!!

What da ya tink?

Chris Wickens

It's kind of funny how they only show the last THREE years.
God forbid they actually show 3+ years.

Thanks for making me regret buying my first car. For about 1 year it was only costing me $30 to fill up my Jetta.
Then suddenly it was up to $40, then $50.

Now I had a vehicle with a large tank on it that has cost me about $80 to fill up before. I can see this happening YET AGAIN.
(Also, I get 7.8L/100km on my vehicle so my mileage is amazing)

Is it also just a coincidence that every summer the gas prices now jump drastically?

Good job setting gas prices high enough that people can barely afford to get to work!

Rober Chevrier

Your Graph is a whimsical projection of the price spikes, at the pumps, by the minute, hour, week, month and year. It does not reflect the factual cost of refined and retailed gazoline in Canada. Likewise I have been compiling daily charts, based on cost crude, for over 5 years now, because of different prices at the pumps, at 5 differentstations,within a couple of city blocks. There is no reason in the world, why Canadians should be paying more than .79 to .85 per litre.

Rober Chevrier

The only reason water cost more than gasoline, is because it is packeged in unrecyclable plastic bottles, ant the packagers are cashing on their production and distribution of a free commodity. After all...they have to pay for their bottlles..(sic)

Jon Hamilton

Dear Pedro Kanada (love that)

Most comments go up as-is. I will admit to taking a few choice words out here and there. If it's a word I don't want my kids to read and learn, then it goes. Other than that, the moderation is minimal. It's for that reason too that I don't just let comments appear without review.

Hope that helps.


Jon Hamilton


The 3 year graph was put together by Fuel Focus for Natural Resources Canada, so I left it as is. If you want to compare farther back, the average price for regular gas in Canada was as follows (taxes in):

2000 - 71.5 cents per litre (cpl)
2001 - 68.7 cpl
2002 - 68.8 cpl
2003 - 73.2 cpl
2004 - 81.3 cpl
2005 - 92.3 cpl

The jump from 2003 really had to do with the rise in crude oil prices.

If your Jetta runs on diesel, you will have seen the price at the pump drop quite dramatically in the last few weeks. I posted on that last week. You can read it here: http://tinyurl.com/nhph93



Jon Hamilton


That's the first time someone has used the word 'whimsical' in a comment. That's a nice way of expressing your disagreement. Hopefully the information I shared above with Chris is of interest to you.

Much like crude oil, gasoline is also a commodity. Therefore the price is more a reflection of supply and demand than the cost of production.

As for your comment that gas should cost no more than 79 to 85 cents per litre, that would put the price well below wholesale which wouldn't make much sense.

Thanks for your comments.


Ken Brown

I would like to know how you get notified of the price changes,,, it seems lately as the cost of crude goes up , the pump price goes up 1 cent per 1 dollar of crude; however, when crude goes down the pump price goes down half as much if it goes down at all.
Secondly, the cost of U.S. gas seems to be almost half what Canadians pay.

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