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CONTRIBUTION · 9th March 2011
Merv Ritchie
Well, it appears there is another effort to get everyone's attention to the soaring price of fuel. In a short drive around the north side of Terrace we discovered all fuel depots are setting their prices in unison. It isn't as if they didn't purchase their respective bunker full a few weeks back at the lower prices and it isn't as if they didn't just wake up this morning individually and simultaneously come to the same price hike decision.

Something is wrong and Canadians do not seem to care. If they do it is not very apparent.

When CBC was about to drop Don Cherry and Ron McLean from Hockey Night in Canada, the reverberations across the country were measured as a 8.5 Quake on the Richter scale.

Corruption in Politics (BC Rail and the In & Out scheme) seems to be a big yawn. It appears as if the important, life altering, generational affecting issues are of little consequence.

Will the recent spike in fuel prices get anyone’s attention? Canada was faced with a similar scenario many years ago and one former Prime Minister took an "ahead of his time" position attempting to create a National Energy Policy. It was the start of a national fuel chain too; Petro Canada.

Albertans and the USA oil giants acted with such outrage no government since has ever acted in the interest of the Canadian population in a manner which might affect the bottom line of these transnational (multinational) corporations.

It was after this effort by Pierre Elliot Trudeau that Britain’s Margaret Thatcher, America’s Ronald Reagan and Canada’s Brian Mulroney instituted a policy of “The Private Sector Knows Best” and started dismantling everything the previous three generations designed and built to promote and enhance civility and social harmony within the sovereignty of each nation. Today we sell our raw trees to China and import toothpaste and milk products from them polluted with antifreeze and other unknown substances. They are even back to selling products coated with leaden paints and coatings.

Worse still, and in relation to these fuel prices, the government is intending to ship the tar sands crude bitumen in the largest tankers in the world to China. These tankers are only designed and built to handle the extreme northwest coast environment a maximum of two voyages. Read more here.

A truly responsible civil, sovereign, government would ensure the energy security of the nation. They would ensure the refinery would be built next to the source and would supply the nation with its energy security needs prior to exporting this necessary commodity and further would maximize the return on this rare commodity for the benefit of the nation.

Too bad Trudeau was trashed by those gullible enough to listen to the corporate controlled media. Usually our greatest thinkers die long before they are truly understood.

If you wish to participate in an attempt to make a point in this sordid affair, a message is circulating on Facebook. It is a long ways off but never the less, it is an effort.

From Facebook

In April 1997, there was a "gas out" conducted nationwide in protest of gas prices. Gasoline prices dropped 30 cents a gallon overnight.

On April 15th 2011, all internet users are to not go to a gas station in protest of high gas prices. Gas is now over $1.20 a liter in most places.

If all users did not go to the pump on the 15th, it would take $2,292,000,000.00 (that's almost 3 BILLION) out of the oil companies pockets for just one day, so please do not go to the gas station on April 15th and let's try to put a dent in the Middle Eastern oil industry for at least one day.

If you agree (which I can't see why you wouldn't) resend this to all your contact list. With it saying, "Don't pump gas on April 15th"

Gas prices way to high
Comment by L.W on 14th March 2011
I join your group of people who ban the gas stations on the 15th of April. I'll try do something to help.
With tongue in cheek
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 11th March 2011
I wonder if a pipeline from Alberta tar sands to Kitimat will help the situation?
while i do agree with Barry
Comment by Steve Smyth on 11th March 2011
I know Barry, shocking isnt it?

BUT here's the real problem with this idea. If all of the "boycotters" top off their tanks the day before the "boycott" or wait to fill them up the next day. All that does is shift sales from one day to another. Any money “lost” from lower gasoline sales on one day will be made up with higher sales on the days before and after the “boycott.”
If you want to really make a difference on one day, then pick a day, any day-do it as a group if you wish and dont "consume" any gas that day. Walk, ride a horse or a bicycle, whatever-that is the only way of taking money out of the system. Gas won't go bad over 24 hours.

Oh, and dont pick on "the little guys" either. The local retailers and distributors make a pathetically small margin on the gas they do sell.

Thanks James
Comment by Barry English on 11th March 2011
For once, I agree with everything you've said James. The thing is, this is absolutely nothing new.

Remember the "Oil Crisis" of the 1970's? At the time, the oil companies were telling us then that we were running out of gas, and that caused extensive lineups at the pumps, and even shut down some outlets because they had run out of product to sell. That initiated the continous rise in fuel prices that we saw then and still see today. At the time, I attended a conference in Toronto, and talked to oil refinery workers from Quebec. They were being laid off , because the massive tank farms in Montreal were completely full and could not store any more.

The "gas shortage" then and the "uncertainty over future supply" now are just ploys by the richest corporations in the world to further gouge profits from people who have no other choice.

I fully support your statements James, and I will not be buying fuel on the 15th.
Comment by James Ippel on 10th March 2011
On Monday past I made a quick trip to Smithers, and along the way I observed the gas prices.

Moricetown - 1.20 litre
Hazelton- - - 1.19.9 litre
Kitwanga- - -1.19.9 litre
Terrace- - - - 1.25.9 litre

I know for a fact that that fuel for Kitwanga is supplied from the Terrace Fuel storage, and suspect Hazelton and Moricetown also are supplied by Terrace.

We have one food chain in Terrace that has numerous fuel outlets, and if a Sheik in Saudi Arabia f,,,rts, they raise their prices. The other outlets follow suit. Maybe it is time that we as consumers take a stand

Yes, the cost of a barrel of oil is high at this time, but remember, this oil will not reach the refineries for at least another three months, and probably not for six months, yet the oil companies are basing the gasoline prices on todays oil prices. They are currently refining oil that cost about $70 a barrel but are using the $100 a barrel price to sell the finished product.

Another interesting fact:there is a glut of gasoline in North America, and the oil companies are scrambling for storage space. All facilities in Canada and the US are at capacity, so refineries have to cut back on production, and yet the prices go up. Go Figure.

There is one food chain in Terrace that has numerous fuel outlets, and they are the first to increase prices when a Sheik in Arabia f,,,rts. Maybe is it time that we as consumers boycott these outlets, as others seem to fall in line with this food chain. Take a stand against this apparent blatant control of fuel prices in Terrace.
Lets do it then
Comment by Al Mc on 10th March 2011
Alright Ed P. Lets not buy gas on April 15th and see how long the price stays down if it goes down. We should be so hopeful!
Just what can one person do...
Comment by Ed P. on 9th March 2011
Merv, thank you for your clarity, insight and perceptiveness. You touched on who we are as Canadians (Mac units in a "globalized country") We are focused on the "Don"(Cherry). We are blind to our lost BC Rail. We are happy with "logs to China". We will pay $2 for gas. We feel "I'm all right Jack." But god help you if you take my cell phone, my computer, my XBox 360, my Playstation or my plasma tv. All, made in China you say? So, I live in the "Canadian Wally World" So there's no more logging mills or pulp mills. My children will still get good jobs and be able to afford the big trucks that burn $2 gas. As long as I really believe in "Canadian Pride" then It will happen. Funny thing, reality is, most anything we touch now is "made in China". Our manufacturing capability is beaten. Our logging industry is beaten, our "cheap natural gas" is to be piped to Asia. Our hydro is sold to USA, Our minerals are shipped away. And now you say giant container ships will carry away raw bitumen. Yup I have Canadian pride alright... fantasy pride, hockey pride, olympic pride. Most of all "Wally World pride" where I can buy anything I want so cheap that no one in Canada can make it cheaper. I don't have to worry about unions jacking up wages and prices. As long as my fantasy includes me having a "good job" then, This is The Best Country in the World to Live. As long as I'm all right Jack then ... logs to China, $2 gas, massive low paying jobs, so what. Just make sure you fix the potholes on Eby Street. My SUV can only take so much!