Why doesn't the federal government regulate gasoline prices?
In Canada, only provinces and territories have the authority to regulate the prices of products such as gasoline and heating oil prices. The Government of Canada has no jurisdiction over regulating prices except in national emergencies. The federal government's goal is to promote and maintain fair competition by strengthening existing legislation such as the Competition Act and to inform Canadians with the best possible information.
The federal government also encourages fuel efficiency and the increased use of alternative transportation fuels, through consumer information programs, fuel efficiency agreements with the automotive industry and research, development and demonstration of new vehicle technologies.
Should our gasoline prices be regulated?
Most evidence suggests that regulation, while keeping prices more stable, does not lead to lower prices for consumers. Five provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec, currently regulate gasoline prices.
Consumers in those provinces see fewer changes in prices but they are not paying less for gasoline on average than other Canadians.
Need more information? See Why Canada Doesn’t Regulate Oil and Fuel Prices.