Gasoline prices: Quebec wants more transparency and competition

The Legault government is studying the possibility of requiring service stations to communicate daily to the Régie de l’énergie changes to the price of gasoline displayed at the pump. This increased transparency would, according to him, contribute to making the market more competitive.

The Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, made public the Study on the gasoline retail market in Quebec on Thursday.

In February, the minister entrusted Robert Clark, professor of economics at Queen’s University and affiliated professor in the department of applied economics of HEC Montreal, the mandate to analyze fuel price and margin differences in the sale of petroleum products (gasoline and diesel fuel) in Quebec.


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The study, among other things, looked at the differences in the price of gasoline between certain regions of Quebec. (Archive photo)

Photo: Radio-Canada / Sébastien Vachon

Its work notably made it possible to confirm that motorists in the Capitale-Nationale, Chaudière-Appalaches, Gaspésie and the Côte-Nord generally pay more for their gasoline than those in other regions. This is particularly the case since 2022.

Robert Clark discusses different possible explanations to explain the differences in prices and margins from one region to another, including the structure of local markets and their level of concentration.


Professor Clark’s report contains several recommendations intended to promote market competition while protecting the interests of consumers. Quebec intends to examine two of them in more depth.

The first consists of repealing section 67 of the Petroleum Products Act which, in the eyes of the government, acts as an implicit floor price.


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Pierre Fitzgibbon is committed to improving transparency and competition in the gasoline market in Quebec. (Archive photo)

Photo: Radio-Canada

The second proposal concerns the establishment of a transparency regime for gasoline prices. This would require service stations to transmit to the Régie de l’énergie, on a daily basis, the changes they make to the price of gasoline.

The Régie would broadcast the prices found in the different regions of Quebec. The government sees this as a way of keep consumers well informed and equipped.

More details to come



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