Canadian taxpayers’ group calls Quebec plan to end floor price on fuel ‘very good’

“A little bit more competition,” said Dwayne Bourque, a Montrealer, about the Quebec government’s decision to abolish the floor price on gasoline to address rising costs for those fueling up at the pump. Gareth Madoc-Jones reports.

The national organization that represents Canadian taxpayers is welcoming the Quebec government’s plan to end the floor price on fuel.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation expects the move will reduce the cost at the pump, meaning more money in Quebecers’ pockets.

“It’s a very good announcement for both a gas station in Quebec that will be able to provide more affordable prices and be in a better competitivity state,” said Nicolas Gagnon, the taxpayer group’s Quebec director.

Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said Thursday ending the floor price on fuel is one of two recommendations the province is examining from a recent study on Quebec’s gas and diesel fuel market.

“I think it’s going to make a little bit more competition against the gas station, unless they’re going to get together and say, ‘hey, no, let’s leave it at this height here,’ which we all know that they probably could do that,” Montrealer Dwayne Bourque told CityNews.

“It costs me $100 to fill this up every week. It’s $450, $500 a month. I barely have any money left for myself. I got five kids to feed.”

Esso gas station on Atwater Street on May 16, 2024. (Adriana Gentile, CityNews)

The study found that prices in certain areas were not consistent with the competitive gasoline market prices.

“What we know for sure is that for many years, the gas stations in Quebec were prevented from being able to sell their gas to a lower cost,” said Gagnon.

The hope is that by removing the floor price, it will encourage gas stations to sell gas at a lower price.

“We’re gradually going towards bigger industries, Costco, and then those type of retailers are going to be able to lower their prices more than the independents,” said Montrealer Alfons Pomp.

The CAQ government plans to table legislation to abolish the floor price before the National Assembly session is done for the summer – on June 7.

Quebec also plans to introduce a platform that will publish daily gas prices for each gas station in the province, so that consumers can make more informed decisions when filling up at the pump. They expect that platform to be available sometime this summer.

“I think that this is a great initiative,” Gagnon said. “On the other hand, I think that most taxpayers would love to see an application that would not cost them too much like we have seen so many times before.”

According to Gas Buddy, the lowest price for gas in Montreal on Friday afternoon was $1.69 per litre – lower than last month when the average price in the city was around $1.88.

“We were a little shocked to see that it was considerably more than in Ontario and Toronto,” said Torontonian Dan Murphy. “We were leaving on Wednesday. I think we paid $1.50 or $1.51, and here it’s $1.76, a $0.26 difference.”

Top Stories

Top Stories