October 9, 2003
(Government Services and Lands)


The following is being distributed at the request of the Petroleum Products Pricing Commission:

Commissioner set to meet with MP Dan McTeague

George Saunders believes his upcoming meeting with Member of Parliament Dan McTeague could yield positive results for the province.

The commissioner and research staff for the Petroleum Products Pricing Commission (PPPC) are scheduled to meet with Ontario�s Pickering-Ajax-Uxbridge federal representative in the Government Services and Lands boardroom at Confederation Building, Thursday, October 16 at 10:30 a.m.

Mr. McTeague has gained a solid reputation nationally for his advocacy work, especially when it comes to competition and consumer issues primarily associated with the oil and grocery sectors.

He is also well-known for his efforts to strengthen the country�s Competition Act, as well as bringing about a Conference Board of Canada study on retail gasoline pricing. It�s these issues that lead Mr. Saunders to believe the MP could prove to be effective in getting things done for this province.

The commissioner noted the meeting will be a prime opportunity to discuss the PPPC model of fuel price regulation with Mr. McTeague, as well as enlist his assistance when it comes to federal concerns that impact Newfoundland and Labrador�s petroleum industry.

Two major issues the PPPC staff will raise with Mr. McTeague include what Mr. Saunders calls the "less-than-satisfactory performance" of the Competition Bureau, as well as the inadequate staffing for Measurement Canada in the province in order to ensure accurate scales and fuel pump calibration and inspection.

"We have some concerns about the relationship between the Competition Bureau and the ordinary citizen," said Mr. Saunders. "They haven�t been effective in dealing with our concerns when it comes to handling changes in oil company operations in this province. We are also going to bring the weights and measures issue to Mr. McTeague�s attention as these are both federal concerns and we need something done about them."

Mr. Saunders said the MP�s office has requested background information about fuel regulation in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as general feedback about the province to prepare for his visit.

The commissioner explained that while the specifics about oil companies and their business dealings in this province are confidential, the PPPC will provide general industry information, along with an overview of the commission�s ongoing research and extensive database.

"I look forward to our meeting with Mr. McTeague and expect that we will have fruitful discussions about how the industry works here and come up with ways to improve certain federal services in this province that we see as being inadequate," said Mr. Saunders.

Media contact: Michelle Hicks, Communications. Tel: 1-866-489-8800 or (709) 489-8837. Cell: (709) 486-4789.

2003 10 09                                        1:20 p.m.

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