Coun. Lloyd Lichti periodically rails against the high price of gasoline in Stratford and he receives a general round of condemnation every time he opens his mouth on the subject. His contention that the gas stations get together to set the high prices is mocked as is his belief that the sellers of gas in town jack up their prices before every long weekend when people will be leaving town and will need to fill up their tanks.
The good councillor's conspiracy theories reach a little too far, it seems to me, but on the other hand, gas retailers make it hard to completely dismiss him when they sometimes seem to follow his script exactly.
For example, two weeks ago, gas in Stratford hovered in the range of 97 to 99 cents per litre. But by Thursday evening, the first night of what would be for many a four-day Easter weekend, gas shot up to $1.04 litre. In Toronto on Good Friday, the price was still in the 98-99 cent range. And in Brantford on Easter Sunday, a fill-up cost 95.2 cents while in Stratford, it was, at one station, $1.063. What are the differences in the situations concerning Brantford gas retailers and those in Stratford that would justify an 11 cent price difference?
Is the price in Stratford ever lower than in other centres? Sometimes, apparently, but it doesn't seem to happen that often or for very long.
I don't know for sure, but we expect by the time of this printing, gas prices in Stratford will have dropped again as we head into a normal weekend. Maybe every car, truck, lawnmower and small engine should be filled to the brim while the prices are low so we can all withstand the predicable hike just prior to the next long weekend.
Leaving Stratford this past Sunday, I took note of gas priced at $1.069 cents per litre. Arriving on fumes in Brantford, I stopped at a station and filled up for 95.6 cents. An 11.3 cent difference, or, in my tank, a full $7.50.
It has been explained to me time and again why this is so, but for the life of me, I can't figure it out. I'm all for paying my way, but I wish I could understand these discrepancies. Sad, really, that a person would now jump for joy to see "cheap" gas at 95.6 cents. It wasn't long ago we were shocked to see prices top 90 cents. Even 80. How far off is $2 a litre?