The 1982 Gas War — Perth Vs Carleton Place

The 1982 Gas War — Perth Vs Carleton Place


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March 1982

The war was on between Perth and Carleton Place gasoline dealers and one operator says he’s giving up the business. Bob Chapman of Carleton Place (Golden Eagle) says there’s too much competition to earn a decent living. “Everyone seems to be getting into the act. I’m retiring from the gas business. There’s no money in it anymore”.

Differences of up to nine cents a litre were being reported between the two towns and the small dealerships were hurting. Saveway Gas dealer, Santiego Diaz of Carleton Place said he wasn’t sure where prices are going. “I’ll have to go to our head office to find out what can be done about the situation.”





Diaz was currently selling regular gas at 37.9 cents per litre and unleaded at 41.9 cents. At Denny’s Service Centre in Carleton Place gas prices were between 42 and 44 cents and owner Dennis Miller says,”I really don’t know what’s going on. Prices are being reduced but it’s not affecting me. After six years in the business, Miller said he had built up a steady clientele. “They prefer to come here because they know they’re going to get service.”

Perth Shell dealer Garfield Leach was concerned about where the price war could lead. “When something like this happens, the dealer gets caught in the middle. If I drop my prices I lose one-third of my markup.” Leach says gas companies do offer relief in the form of consignment sales for dealers interested. , “The company could offer to let me lower my prices if I sell on consignment, I would be guaranteed a profit but it would be less than what I make -now,” Leach says. Leach thinks about consignment all the time but says: “I’m in business to make profits.”



photo by Faye Campbell of Bill McGonegal

Self-serve Esso dealer Bill McGonegal of Carleton Place says the situation was much the same as a price war that took place two years ago. “One day someone lowers his price and I have to follow him. My price is down to 36.6 cents and I think things have pretty much settled now,” McGonegal says.

But McGonegal’s neighbour wasn’t sure. Dwight Cochrane at Orr Pontiac expects to drop his prices again next week. “Bill and I are friends and we don’t want to start anything but, if his price drops, mine will have to. The price war is hurting my business,” Cochrane said.



Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 31 Oct 1981, Sat,
  3. Page 83


Perth resident Delbert Bolton was irate about the local state of gas prices. “We’re being taken. The dealers have got to be playing games with us. I can go to Carleton Place and save $5.60 on a fill up.” “I’d prefer to spend my money where I earn it but if they don’t change, I’m not going to feel guilty about going out of town to buy gas.





Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 17 May 1984, Thu,
  3. Main Edition,
  4. Page 24
  5. The Ottawa Journal,
  6. 23 Sep 1968, Mon,
  7. Page 26
  8. Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and theSherbrooke Record and and Screamin’ Mamas (USACome and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.relatedreading
  9. Filler Up! Got a Flat!! Photos of Gas Stations

  10. The Central Garage in Carleton Place by Terry Skillen

    The Garages of Carleton Place –1970’s

    Looking for Memories of Harold Linton’s Gas Station

    Take Me to Your Litre — The Anti-Metric Gas Station

    Esso? Downtown Bridge Street Carleton Place

    The White Rose Service Station in Carleton Place

    Dollars Worth of Gas in Carleton Place

    Before the Canadian Tire Gas Bar There Was..

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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