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Friday, September 02, 2005

Soaring Fuel Prices will Cripple Labrador

On August 22, 2005 gasoline and home heating fuels reached what was thought to be an all time high. At that time gasoline prices in Labrador ranged from $123.2 in Western Labrador to $143.9 on the North and South Coast while home heating Oil ranged from 82.36 cents to 96.36 cents per litre.

As of 12:01am Friday September 2nd fuel prices have once again soared. This time to highs never before imagined.

Current prices for regular unleaded gasoline in Labrador now range from $142.1 in the west to $162.8 in the North and South and in some areas home heating oil has climbed to a staggering $101.86 per litre.

It is estimated that the latest increase in gasoline prices alone will translate into an additional 4 cents per litre in HST revenues for government coffers. As a result of the extreme cost of fuel in the area, the Combined Councils of Labrador have called on both levels of government to reduce the amount of taxes it collects on these products.

In addition to the request for a tax break, the Combined Councils are calling on the Newfoundland and Labrador Petroleum Pricing Office to consider the stock piling of fuels when setting prices in Labrador.

Due to its location and the fact that products like gasoline, diesel and home heating fuels often need to be shipped into the area, fuel in a majority of Labrador Communities is often stockpiled for months on end rather than delivered as needed. As a result of this, there is often little correlation between the price at the pumps and the wholesale cost of the fuel being supplied.

Many communities in Labrador rely on diesel generation for power and this, combined with the approach of the winter home heating season is expected to cause serious concerns, especially for lower income residents and seniors.

Ford Rumbolt, President of the Combined Councils of Labrador had this to say:

“Fuel prices in Labrador are staggering, and residents on the North and South Coast of Labrador are paying the highest prices in the Country. This will have a devastating effect on low income families this coming winter. Seniors and Single Parent Families will be forced to choose between putting food on the table or oil in the tank. ”

“Gasoline reserves in both North and South Coast Communities are topped off in the fall and again in the spring, I do not understand how fuel prices can take such a drastic increase in price. There should be a price freeze during the summer as it is in the winter.”

Waylon Williams, Executive Director of the Combined Councils of Labrador, speaking on the subject today, released this comment:

“With the recent increases in costs in Petroleum products, Labrador communities are paying the highest prices in the Province if not the Country, with prices expected to rise yet again in the very near future. This is an extremely critical issue that demands the attention of every level of government”.

With the price of oil continuing to hover around the $70 a barrel level it appears that consumers across the Country and especially in Labrador will continue to pay higher and higher prices for the foreseeable future unless serious steps are taken to stabilize a worsening situation.


namut said...

Thanks for putting the gas issue in Labrador out there. It has knocked “the weather” off the top issue list up here in the North. My concern is that people, who are already finding it tough, will not have access to “country food” as their main source of healthy food. Lots of junk in the store, this is just going to force people to eat more starch, sugar, salty processed stuff.
Keep up your efforts on the blog, I check in every day.

Patriot said...

Thanks for the kind comments brian. I don't know how you folks are going to get throught this winter. It's bad enough here on the island with the latest increase, but it's mad up your way.

How much is gas up there today?

namut said...

Gas on coast is 8 bucks a gallon.
Heating oil is roughly 4 bucks a gallon. You can leave your car, boat, ski doo sitting idle, what does one do for heat when you are on EI, low or fixed income, that is the BIG question.