Fuel shortage continues in Ontario

| 2/27/2007

The fuel situation in Ontario, Canada, is getting desperate, and for carriers in the area, it's only going to get worse unless something is done soon.

That's the word from the Ontario Trucking Association in response to a fuel shortage that began in mid-February, following a fire at an Imperial Oil refinery in Nanticoke, Ontario.

The refinery is one of the major suppliers to the area.

Stephen Laskowski, OTA vice president, told "Land Line Now" on XM Satellite Radio that although the fire has long since been put out, the effects are still being felt throughout the province.

"We're now reaching the stage where the other players can not pick up the slack left by Imperial," Laskowski said. "So now, we're getting runs on fuel. We're having bulk storage facilities as certain carriers running dry, and being told that they won't be refilled for days."

Laskowski said his association is asking the Canadian government to allow trucks to use off-road diesel fuel. He is also asking OTA members who may have a good supply to consider selling fuel to members who have none.

The situation has caused a 15- to 20-percent increase in fuel prices in the area and has spilled over into neighboring Quebec, shutting down at least 10 stations there, according to Laskowski.

- Terry Scruton, staff writer