Gas prices are quickly climbing back up to pre-pandemic prices, after a stagnant winter.

According to the website GasBuddy, gas prices hit a low of 85.9 cents per litre in the Kenora district in April of 2020, before slowly rising back up to 104.9 over the winter.

Over the last week, local prices have climbed up to 113.3 in Dryden and 115.9 cents per litre in Kenora. Fuel costs in March, 2020, just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, were about 109.5 cents per litre.

Kenora-Rainy River MPP and Energy Minister, Greg Rickford, who also serves as the Minister of Northern Development and Mines, and Indigenous Affairs, says the price increase is something he and ministry is tracking.

“Price of gas is going up overall. I’m keeping a close eye on it, because I don’t really understand that with Ontario’s Stay-at-Home order, usually the price goes up with demand, but people are driving less.”

There’s still a difference between our prices and neighbouring Manitoba’s. Winnipeg’s prices are listed at 103.9, but it’s better than paying Thunder Bay’s prices, currently one of the highest in Ontario, at over 120 cents per litre.

“Our comparisons to other parts of the province are quite fair, so I don’t think we’re getting gouged like we have in the past. I think we’ve gotten on top of that. Some local vendors have been very fair about it.”

In April, 2019, the Federal Competition Bureau ended their investigation into price fixing among gas retailers in the region. It began in December of 2018 at the request of Energy Minister Greg Rickford, but after interviewing 50 gas stations in the area, they did not uncover any criminal evidence to support the price fixing theory.

“In fairness, gas prices have been a lot more consistent and closely-tied to the market over the past several months. But it’s not cool,” noted Rickford.

The Kenora District includes Kenora, Dryden, Red Lake, Sioux Lookout, Sioux Narrows – Nestor Falls, Fort Frances, and many other communities within northwestern Ontario.

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