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Dispelling the myth about long weekend gas price hikes

One of the most common questions we still get as spokespeople at Suncor is: 

Why does the cost of fuel go up right before every long weekend?

For years, we have been telling our readers that it is simply a myth.  Now, thanks to a piece of research released this week by M.J. Ervin & Associates (a division of the Kent Group), a review of the pricing data around long weekends across Canada since 2006 has been completed.  (DISCLOSURE:  This work was done by M.J. Ervin & Associates on behalf of the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute (CPPI), to provide independent third party research. Suncor Energy is a member company of CPPI).

The results presented by Michael Ervin were interesting and he came to the following conclusion:

“The aggregated results indicate that week-over-week retail prices are no more likely to increase during the week immediately before a holiday. In fact, our findings revealed that the number of price increases during the week of a holiday was slightly less than that of weeks not related to holidays.”

It’s quite a long report, but if you’ve been looking for a disciplined review of pricing around long weekends, here it is. 

The full report can be found here.

The press release can be found here.

- Michael S.




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totally untrue; it is now July 28th in the Okanagan, one day before the August long weekend, and gas prices soared 10 cents a litre this morning; get real!




Whenever gas prices rise and fall, this is due to demand. Before long weekends alot of people generally fill up, when this execeds production the gas prices will usually go up to slow down the demand till producton catches up. By how much?... thats when the speculators come into the picture...


Only now, the price doesn't go down after the long weekend but remains high till the next long weekend then whamo...up again.

Ken Venhuizen

the hogwash the oil industry prints is based upon so called research. When we Canadians see every day being price gouged we don't believe the research and although it may make the oil industry feel good Canadians know everything said by the oil industry is a lie. Pricing is set to create an unrealistic amount of profit and greed to oil companies execs and CEO. Bottom line - greed is what rules the industry especially at Petro Canada. All we have to do is look at current price of oil and realize past pricing would see a 30 cents per litre reduction in the cost at the pump as compared to today. so CEO's step and admit your greed and price gouging and be the leaders you are suppose to be and tell the truth.


Speculators should never be allowed to influence business or markets.I feel they set fear and unnecessary increases and turmoil. How often does anything positive come out of their predictions? Are they really necessary in the whole picture, unless you have a major stake in the profits.

Tyler Schenn

Shocker!!! the price of fuel jumped for the August Long weekend, and then again for every weekend that the weather forecast was nice...even bigger surprise, it hasnt gone back down yet!!!

I guess with the tumble of the price of oil and the so-called reduction in fuel consumption by Canadians, its really costing alot more to produce a liter of fuel...

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