September 16, 2003
(Government Services and Lands)
The following is being distributed at the request of the Petroleum Products Pricing Commission:
Commissioner comments on Measurement Canada services
George Saunders, commissioner for the Petroleum Products Pricing Commission (PPPC), is awaiting reply from officials at Measurement Canada and federal Industry Minister Allan Rock�s office over concerns he has about fuel pump calibration in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The commissioner travelled with research staff to Labrador last month for a familiarization and fact-finding tour, and visited all communities between Rigolet and Nain.
While there, Mr. Saunders became aware that there hasn�t been any federal inspection of the pumps that dispense petroleum products in that region for nearly a decade, and he said this causes great concern especially since Labrador has among the highest fuel prices in the country.
Mr. Saunders spoke with the fuel company that delivers fuel in the area and was informed that it calibrates its own pumps. But the commissioner has asked Measurement Canada to assign someone from its office to perform inspections and ensure pump accuracy before the upcoming winter season.
"Petroleum products are vital to the survival of people in Labrador, and it�s imperative these people receive fair treatment when they purchase these products," said the commissioner. "They should expect that there is an accurate measurement in relation to the price they pay for petroleum products."
Mr. Saunders noted in his correspondence to the industry minister that the staffing allocation for Measurement Canada in the Atlantic region is "extremely meagre" and makes it difficult for this office to carry out its operations effectively.
For example, the PPPC has learned that Newfoundland and Labrador has two inspectors and one enforcement officer; Nova Scotia has five inspectors; New Brunswick has four inspectors; and Prince Edward Island has no staff (it is serviced from New Brunswick).
To date, the PPPC hasn�t received any reply regarding this federal matter, and Mr. Saunders said he will continue to monitor the situation to see that officials are aware of the importance of this issue to the people of this province.
Media contact: Michelle Hicks, Communications. Tel: 1-866-489-8800, (709) 489-8837. Cell: (709) 486-4789.
2003 09 16 10:30 a.m.