Thursday, March 29, 2007

fill 'er up

We creatures of comfort get satisfaction & contentment in the everyday familiar. So, when we're back in Toronto, I reckon a dose of my hometown familiarity is apt to make up for lost time. But there's one thing that's unfamiliar & uncomfortable in the big T(dot) this time around.

Gas prices! Apparently, the Nanticoke refinery in Ontario was temporarily shut down
due to a fire in February. This caused gas shortages all over Ontario, which only resulted in further price gouging. Gas prices rose to an all time high of a BUCK a litre (or when translated to Bermuda & US measurements about $3.78 CDN a gallon. While we took in this news in Feb, we figured this would blow over by the time our trip came around March end.

Not so! The Nanticoke refinery is back online, but prices at Toronto's pumps have yet to see a decline. Add to that many gas stations are reportedly still out of gas & have been forced to shut down. While the government should be stepping in to relieve some of this pressure it's not about to for perhaps two reasons. About half of all gas earnings are directed to the government in the form of fuel tax - so the higher the price the more tax earnings for the government (and since when does any government not like more money flowing their way). The other reason might just be that the government is hoping the high gas prices will encourage more to turn to public transportation therefore alleviating traffic woes & smog that plagues Toronto. (Personally, it's reason #1 that's more plausible for when has any government been concerned about lining their policies for the good of the environment).

Think this does not affect you? Mull on this: domestic & international flights taking off from Toronto will pass on their refueling costs which will show up on your airfare. The other harsh reality that many are facing is that these prices are being reported to be steady through the summer. For those of you who are not aware, summer is the season for weekend trips to the cottage up north, long drives across the border during long weekends & many road trips of the sort. So, you can see how this is going to be a problem.

In Bermuda, I barely pay attention to our weekly gas expenditure, nonetheless I'm sure it's about less than $10 USD to fill up the scooter. Here in T (dot), however, I am definitely feeling the pinch. We've been driving around all over visiting family in my dad's fuel efficient Tracker & despite this, a temporary $10.00 gas fill up barely registers on the fuel gage, where before it was moderately enough to feed the hungry auto beast.

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