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    Costco Opposes Canadian Gas Surcharge

    Quebec town tacks on 10 cents per liter that is passed directly to consumers.

    ST-JEROME, Quebec -- Wholesaler Costco has set up petitions in stores against a 10-cent surcharge on the cost of gasoline that is tacked on to the price per liter by the St-Jerome government to cover costs of transportation, taxes and the price of crude oil, The Associated Press reported.

    Every week, the Regie de l'energie du Quebec sets the minimum retail price of fuel, taking into account certain economic factors, including retailers' operating costs, which are added into the cost and passed directly onto the consumer, the AP reported.

    "This surcharge penalizes all St-Jerome consumers, be they Costco members or not as all gas stations in St-Jerome will be forced to increase the sale price." Pierre Riel, Costco's senior vice president for Eastern Canada, told the AP. He added that if the surcharge expanded beyond St-Jerome into the rest of Quebec, "consumers of gasoline in the province would then needlessly pay more for their gas."

    "Although this regulation by the Regie de l'energie du Quebec was initially intended to protect consumers against prolonged price wars, it is out of touch with actual market conditions and penalizes Quebec consumers," Riel told PlanetRetail.com

    Members of the wholesale outlet can sign the petition at any of the chain's Quebec province stores. The petition will be sent to the Quebec government within the next few weeks.

    Costco Wholesale operates 487 warehouses throughout the world, Canada is home to 68 Costco warehouses, 16 of which are in Quebec.

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