Gas prices are going up as the countdown to the May long weekend begins.
Although a number of Winnipeg stations were still selling gasoline at their old price — anywhere from 118.9 cents to 122.9 cents per litre — as of late Wednesday afternoon, at least 15 stations had boosted the price to 128.9 cents, according to GasBuddy.com, a website that monitors gas prices in cities across the country.
"We’re seeing gas prices going up across the country," GasBuddy.com co-owner Jason Toews said in a telephone interview from Regina.
Toews said there was a smaller price increase about a week ago, followed by a much bigger spike starting Tuesday afternoon and continuing on Wednesday — three days before the start of the Victoria Day long weekend.
Toews said it’s no coincidence that prices are rising just a few days before the start of a long weekend: "It happens all the time."
However, a senior executive with Kent Marketing Services Ltd., which provides data, analysis and consulting services to the petroleum industry, blamed the price hike on production problems at a key oil refinery in Edmonton.
He said that, coupled with the usual spike in demand at this time of the year, has reduced inventories and forced up both wholesale and retail prices.