Gas prices may fluctuate each week but the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies says government-controlled gasoline is costing consumers in the region millions of dollars.
In fact, the report said New Brunswickers have paid $15 million more for gas than they had to since regulations were put in place in 2006.
AIMS, an economic research institute, compared the baseline prices in an unregulated market to prices in the four Atlantic provinces, where governments sets maximum prices.
‘When you look at the vast array of things that governments need to be doing or should be doing, one would have to put determining the price of gasoline very low on that list.’
-Marco Navarro-Génie, CEO of Atlantic Institute for Market Studies
The institute found that Atlantic Canadians are paying more at the pumps than other Canadians.
In New Brunswick, the Energy and Utilities Board sets a maximum price every Wednesday night.
Marco Navarro-Génie, CEO of AIMS, said government has more pressing things to work on than regulating the price of gas.
“When you look at the vast array of things that governments need to be doing or should be doing, one would have to put determining the price of gasoline very low on that list,” he said.
Navarro-Génie suggested removing the regulation altogether.
According to information published Friday, the highest gas price in Alberta over the last 36 hours was $1.12, while in New Brunswick the price sat at $1.06.
But even if the AIMS analysis is correct as a general rule, some Fredericton residents questioned at the gas pumps this week said they were in favour of gas regulation.
Brad Detchevry owns two cars and said he pays about $380 a month on gas.
He said he buys his gas from Costco, a retailer with prices that are often lower than elsewhere in the city.
“I’m for the regulation of the gas prices, and I like the way they do it in New Brunswick because they set a maximum, which still allows for competition,” he said.
Ashley Bearresto said she drives 30 minutes every day from Jemseg to work in Fredericton.
She said her car doesn’t take a lot of gas but the cost still adds up.
‘I like the way they do it in New Brunswick because they set a maximum.’
– Brad Detchevry, driver
“I think it’s working,” she said. “Like I mean you definitely see it going up…