Northern Ontario gas stations gouging customers, analyst says

While oil prices have been soaring of late, an industry analyst says retailers in northern Ontario have hiked prices more than necessary.

Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, said the difference in wholesale costs between Sudbury and Toronto is about 2.7 cents a litre.

"That's the only difference we should be seeing," McTeague said.

So when gas is $2.09 a litre in Toronto and $2.21 in Sudbury, it means retailers are taking in extra profit.

"The difference is retailers helping themselves to an additional eight cents a litre," he said, describing it as a "brazen" move at a time when many people are struggling to cope with rising prices.

Gas prices jumped about 14 cents a litre Tuesday, and at $2.21 a litre, it's among the highest price in Canada outside of Newfoundland and B.C.

McTeague said longer term, the addition of a Costco gas station should help the sort of profit-taking local consumers are seeing now.

"Obviously they're making quite a bit of money but those (wholesale) numbers are incontrovertible," he said, adding prices could reach $2.30 a litre.