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December 23, 1997
(Government Services and Lands)

The following is being distributed at the request of Dennis M. Browne, Q.C.:

Consumer Advocate Dennis Browne, who was appointed by government in July 1997, to investigate and report on gasoline prices in the province, has completed his report. The report was delivered to government on December 22, 1997.

The report, entitled Gasoline Prices and the Public Interest - The Consumer Advocate's Report on Gasoline Prices in the province Newfoundland and Labrador, was commissioned by government in July 1997. A research and investigation program was established to identify the factors contributing to both the price of gasoline and the variation of these prices in the province. Companies directly involved in the gasoline retail business in the province were presented with an extensive questionnaire which sought detailed confidential information concerning the company=s operations in the province. Confidentiality agreements were entered into with oil companies in order to facilitate their voluntary compliance with the request for information. Meetings were held with representatives of each oil company to discuss the information provided in their responses to the questionnaire and to obtain clarification where appropriate.

"We were pleased with the level of response during consultation proceedings. Many consumers and municipalities throughout the province made submissions, as hundreds of telephone calls, faxes, letters and e-mail went into the compilation of the report." A formal presentation was made by the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor and the town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay. A submission was also made by the Combined Councils of Labrador. Meetings were held with the Energy Sector of Natural Resources Canada, the Federal Competition Bureau, representatives of Measurement Canada and the Independent Retail Gasoline Market Association (IRGMA), as well as the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute (CPPI).

The report is to be released by the government early in the new year.

Contact: Dennis M. Browne, Q.C., (709) 754-1800, Facsimile: (709) 654-2701,

1997 12 23 11:15 a.m.

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