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May 26, 2001
(Government Services and Lands)

Minister appoints commissioner of petroleum products pricing

Walter Noel, Minister of Government Services and Lands, today announced that George Saunders of Bishop�s Falls has been appointed as commissioner of petroleum products pricing effective immediately. The minister also announced that the Office of the Commissioner will be located in Grand Falls-Windsor.

Mr. Noel said: "Mr. Saunders is a respected educator and businessman, well-known for his community involvement, and I know that he will do an excellent job for the consumers of this province.

"Consumers have made it clear to government that they lack confidence in the way petroleum products are priced and that they are displeased with price fluctuations. Now that the Act Respecting Petroleum Products has been passed, our goal is to restore consumer confidence and ensure price changes occur on a regular basis.

"I have asked Mr. Saunders to move quickly to set up his office and begin work as soon as possible.

"Mr. Saunders now has the authority to adjust and monitor increases and decreases for gasoline prices and he can exercise this discretion during the summer driving season. Prior to establishing a detailed pricing regime, Mr. Saunders will conduct further research and hold extensive consultations with affected parties.

"Much work has been done in preparing for the establishment of this office and I am pleased that we have been able to respond, in such a meaningful way, to the wishes and concerns of consumers in our province.

"While the Office of the Commissioner will ensure reasonable prices are charged, it can not guarantee lower prices unless existing prices are deemed to be unwarranted. Prices will remain primarily determined by world oil prices."

Media contact: Rick Callahan, Director of Communications, (709) 729-4860.


T. George Saunders - Biographical Information


  • Memorial University of Newfoundland, B.A. (English, History) 1971; B.Ed., 1971, Master of Educational Administration - 1989.
  • Also studied at University of Windsor, Ontario - 1973; (addiction research)
  • High school, Honours Matriculation - 1966.


  • Teacher - Employed with the Exploits Valley Integrated School Board as senior high school special services teacher in Bishop�s Falls from 1976 to 2000, retired in June of 2000.
  • Area director, Alcohol and Drug Dependency Commission, Central Newfoundland, 1973 to 1975.
  • Self-employment: private consultant - 1976 - present. Represented clients before Workers� Compensation Board; Canada Pension Plan Review Tribunal; Employment Insurance Review Commission; Municipal Government Appeal Board, and other commissions.

Community and Provincial Involvement:

  • First elected to municipal politics in 1972 at the age of 22, as councilor. Elected mayor of Bishop�s Falls in 1973, and served four successive terms until retirement in 1993.
  • Member, Board of Directors of Central Newfoundland Hospital, 1970 to 1975.
  • Member of Board of Directors, Exploits Valley Development Association, 1978 to 1985.
  • Founding chairman of Exploits Regional Services Board, 1979, and served as chairman of the board until 1982, with two successive terms in 1985 and 1987.
  • Chairman, Exploits Valley Salmon Festival Committee, 1986 to 1987.
  • Member, Exploits Local Economic Development Corporation, Botwood, 1988 to 1993.
  • Founding chairman, Bishop�s Falls Development Corporation, 1988 to 1992.
  • Elected, Board of Directors, Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Municipalities, 1991 to 1992.
  • Appointed to Social Policy Advisory Committee, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, 1995 to 1998.
  • Appointed to Premier�s Council on Social Development which is responsible for development and implementation of the province�s strategic social plan ( 1998 to present). Serves on the social audit sub-committee of the board
  • Member, Community Editorial Board of the Evening Telegram, 1999.
  • Member, Newfoundland and Labrador Voluntary Services Medal Commission, 1999 to present.
  • Chairman, 2000 Come Home Year Celebrations, Town of Bishop�s Falls, 2000.
  • Appointed chairman, Central Newfoundland Municipal Appeals Board, 2000.
  • Member, Bishop�s Falls Historical Society Board of Directors, 2001.


  • Awarded the Canada 125 Anniversary Medal for voluntary services to the municipality, region and to the province, in 1992.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador, Municipal Service Award, 1993 in recognition of 20 years of service to municipal government in the province.

2001 05 26 9:00 a.m.


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