Gas prices jump, forcing Quebecers to pay more at the pump

MONTREAL – The price of gas shot up overnight in Montreal to $1.219, an increase of nearly 13 cents in some places – far above the national average of $1.05.

“Gas prices suck. Yeah, definitely no fun,” said Chris Smithson, who said he got a shock when he drove into the Esso station on Atwater Avenue.

Some drivers said the hike forced them to rethink their transportation.

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    READ MORE: Pain at the pumps: Montrealers paying premium for gas

    “I am driving a Fiat 500,” said Ash Amani, who came in from the West Island.

    “I left a V8 car at home because it makes no sense.”

    Blaming big oil

    Prices are the highest they’ve been since summer 2015.

    “Maybe it has something to do with the fire in Fort McMurray,” said Smithson.

    “You never know with gas, it’s just up, down, up, down…but mostly up.”

    The price of gas depends on many fluctuating factors, including the supply of crude oil and the Canadian dollar.

    Instead of blaming big oil for the rise, Carl Vallée, Quebec director of the Canadian Taxpayer Federation, said people should look a little closer to home.

    READ MORE: Breaking it down: Montreal gas prices

    “We have a tendency to blame the big oil companies,” he said.

    “Sometimes, we’re right to do that, but more often we should actually be blaming our own government.”

    High taxes

    Quebecers pay some of the highest gas prices in the entire country, and Montrealers pay six different taxes at the pumps.

    “It’s $1.20 today, so on that, 57 cents are going to taxes,” said Vallée, who explained motorists in the province pay a premium.

    “That’s 47 per cent of your bill.”

    READ MORE: Gas prices are rising across Canada — and will likely jump further

    Vallée said the problem is after paying the initial tax, another one is added to the total.

    “Once the first calculation is done, then you add the GST and the PST, so we’re actually paying taxes on taxes,” he said.

    “We’ve estimated that Quebecers pay $377 million on tax, on tax per year.”

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