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Pumps run dry at some Winnipeg gas stations

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The pumps were running dry at a couple of independently owned Winnipeg gas stations amid the shutdown of a major pipeline, but retailers say more fuel is on the way.

Drivers pulled away from a Waverley Street gas station Wednesday morning without any gas. CTV News visited two independently owned stations in Winnipeg – both had signs up limiting gas purchases to $30, while others signalled the pumps were dry. The owners declined to comment.

This comes days after Imperial Oil announced a three-month shutdown of a pipeline carrying gas, diesel and jet fuel from Gretna to Winnipeg. The shutdown is in order to do preventative maintenance.

The province said Wednesday it has been assured more fuel is on the way.

"We've also been reaching out to some individual retailers and we're aware that there are some additional shipments coming in for some individual retailers tonight," Economic Development, Trade, and Natural Resources Minister Jamie Moses said while speaking to reporters Wednesday.

While the pipeline is shut down, supplies will be hauled by truck and train from refineries in Edmonton and Regina.

"So we'll continue to work very strongly, using the weight of the government to lean on those suppliers and quite frankly make them ensure that we have an adequate supply of gas throughout Winnipeg," Moses said.

The contingency measures are raising questions about additional costs trickling down to the price at the pump.

The opposition Tories worry shortages could push gas prices up. Interim PC Leader Wayne Ewasko is calling on Premier Wab Kinew to extend the 14 cent per litre provincial gas tax holiday past its July 1 deadline.

"I don't have a crystal ball, but it is basic supply and demand," he said.

On Tuesday, the premier said that is under consideration.

"The situation with the pipeline is something we're learning to live with in the next few months, and we're going to be there to help keep life affordable in Manitoba," the premier said.

Winnipeg Mayor Scott Gillingham said he's had discussions with the premier about the situation.

"They're working very hard to establish a supply table so that they can ensure that Winnipeggers and ultimately Manitobans get the fuel that they need," Gillingham said.

He said he doesn't expect the gas interruptions will impact city services, as the City of Winnipeg has its own three-month supply of fuel.

"We will have fuel for our emergency vehicles and our transit buses as well," Gillingham said. "We're pretty confident that we're in good shape, and our plans are in place so we will not see an impact to city services."

Imperial Oil told CTV News it can't comment on the independent stations and their fuelling practices, but said it's working around the clock to make sure there are minimal supply disruptions in the Winnipeg region.

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