Since early March 2020 Independent Gasoline Dealers are feeling a strong impact from the Pandemic as are many businesses in Nova Scotia. Cormier’s Gas Station located in Cheticamp, Hilda and Ricki are the owners who have felt this impact and have invested in their community business despite these challenges. They agree that Retailers in the rural areas are struggling with the current economic conditions.
The Retail Gasoline Dealers Association supported their (Hilda and Ricki Cormier) request to the NSURB for a Retail Gasoline Margin as a necessary part of staying in business. They operate as an essential service to their rural community of Cheticamp where many travellers also count on the Cormier’s Service Station staying in operation. In their application to the utility and review board (NSURB), they asked for a 3-cent per litre increase in the margin. The NSURB responded with an 0.3 cent per litre minimum and a 0.4 cent per litre maximum increase in the retail margin only a fraction of the original ask, which was effective as of Friday, February 5 2021.
The disappointment in this increase is felt across the Independent Retail Gasoline Network which doesn’t even cover the inflation rate from the previous Retail Gasoline Review in 2013. Some Retailers have closed their doors as a result of trying to stay in business and the RGDA hopes to further support Independents with an ask for a Review of the NYH / rack spread issue, along with a recommendation that the review be expanded to other regulated pricing issues such as use of the interrupter clause.
David Knight, a consultant who represented RGDA in the Retail Gasoline Margin Review said “Overall, I am both hopeful and optimistic that the Board will initiate a review of the situation faced by lower volume retailers. A review of this nature would create some really meaningful opportunities to quantify what is happening and introduce testimony by experts, such as insurance companies.”
Shannon Trites, ED Retail Gasoline Dealers Association