It’s not just you. Bonnyville town council has noticed how much higher gas prices are in the area compared to everywhere else too, and they’ve had enough.
Mayor Gene Sobolewski has set up a committee that will have a meeting with the town’s fuel retailers and ask them just what the heck is going on here.
“I’ve taken a couple trips to Cold Lake and one to St.Paul,” said the mayor at council. “I’m quite upset that the price of fuel in Bonnyville is so high. It’s a dollar one at the co-op, relative to eighty six point nine in Cold Lake and ninety one in St. Paul.”
Sobolewski asked the administration if there was anything legally they could do to force prices back to within reason, but he doubted there were many options on that front. His other course of action was to get a group of councillors together to sit down with Bonnyville’s gas station operators and have them explain themselves.
“I know the song and dance we’re going to get,” he added. “Talk basically about supply and demand. I don’t know how they calculate it, why they calculate it, who calculates it, but this is ridiculous.”
Councillor Jim Cheverie added his experiences as well.
“A few years ago it was three or four cents higher in Bonnyville than it was in Cold Lake and three or four cents higher than it was in St. Paul. This was the high point of a few cents. Three weeks ago a I fueled up my truck in Cold lake. It was eighty eight cents a litre, a dollar three here. Last night I was in Cold lake and I fueled up again. It was eighty six cents a litre, a dollar one here. the exact same fifteen cent separation… the amount is not just pennies. I saved sixteen dollars on my truck.”
Councillor John Irwin also explained that the local station makes four cents profit for every litre, no matter what. Talk of a town-wide boycott was raised, but that idea was shot down as it would probably hurt the local operators who aren’t very high on the corporate totem pole more than anyone else.
Irwin said the high prices made no sense to him either. “The fuel being sold in Cold Lake is coming out of refineries in Edmonton, so they can’t say it’s extra trucking to get to Bonnyville.”
“So if it’s supply and demand then that must mean that our population or the population that they’re using here relative to the amount of fuel is either skewed or they’re using population data from the MD and assuming it’s the town,” said Sobolewski. “I don’t know how they’re doing it, but whatever they do it’s gotta be corrected.
“Either that or we’ll just encouraging everybody to go shopping outside our boundaries for fuel and while they’re there maybe they’ll go to the restaurant and maybe they’ll do some shopping, which is totally unacceptable. I want to find out why.”
Councillors Ray Prevost and Nestor Kunec agreed to join the committee to meet with retailers.