Nova Scotia gas, diesel retailers win small hike in retail markup

·2 min read

Nova Scotia gasoline and diesel retailers will get to keep a little more from their sales receipts starting on Friday.

The province's utility and review board has partially approved an increase in the retail markup at the request of H. Cormier Service Station in Cheticamp.

The station's owners had been asking for an increase of three cents per litre to cover losses due to the pandemic and increases in the minimum wage and other costs.

But in a decision released Monday, the regulator approved an increase of three-tenths of a cent on full-service fuel and four-tenths of a cent on self-serve.

Hilda Cormier, co-owner of the PetroCanada station in Cheticamp, said the decision is a small victory.

"It's better than nothing," she said. "If you have the volume, you can survive, but stations that don't have the big volume, this .4 of a cent, or .3 of a cent, is not really going to help them."

Lack of tourists hurting retailers

Cormier said her station is on the Cabot Trail and normally does enough volume to be able to weather the downturn in sales.

She said the lack of tourists due to the pandemic has hurt retailers across the province and the increase in minimum wage and other costs are adding to the strain, especially on rural gas stations.

Cormier said wholesalers got an increase of more than two cents per litre after the world price took a nosedive due to the pandemic.

But she said that increase does not get passed on to independent retailers.

The utility and review board said it allowed the small increase to cover the cost of inflation since the last retail markup increase in 2019.

The board said the full reasons for its decision will be released within the next 60 days.