Bill C-14: Laudable Legislation Sullied by Misleading Short Name
November 5, 2010
Bill C-14, An Act to amend the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act and the Weights and Measures Act, is now before the Senate for final approval. CIPMA supports the legislation but opposes the short name in the strongest possible way.
Of the 8 sectors covered by this Bill, gasoline retailing has the highest measurement compliance rate and yet the government has chosen “Fairness at the Pumps Act” as the short name.
No gasoline retailer has been convicted under the Weights and Measures Act. Here is the letter that CIPMA has sent to Senator Stephen Greene who spoke in support of the Bill at Second Reading:
November 5, 2010
Hon. Stephen Greene
The Senate of Canada
Re: Bill C-14, An Act to Amend the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act and the Weights and Measures Act
Dear Senator Greene,
Thank you for the thoughtful comments you made at Second Reading in the Chamber this week regarding Bill C-14.
CIPMA, the trade association representing independent fuel marketers across Canada, has been an active participant in the House deliberations and Measurement Canada’s consultations regarding Bill C-14: An Act to amend the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act and the Weights and Measures Act.
CIPMA supports Bill C-14 and we are on record as encouraging mandatory inspection cycles of measurement devices, for all the reasons you have clearly articulated.
However in your deliberations, we would like you and other like-minded senators to reconsider the short name of the Bill: “Fairness at the Pumps Act”, which is at best misleading.
Here are the facts, as provided to the House Industry Committee by Measurement Canada:
- Bill C-14 covers 40 sectors including retail food, fisheries, mining, rubber products, and retail gasoline and many others. The sectors are listed in Figure 1.
- Measurement Canada reports that the retail gasoline sector has one of the highest measurement compliance rate of these 40 sectors monitored by Measurement Canada. Figure 2 shows a comparison of the performance of all the sectors.
- Of the 8 “initial” sectors that Measurement Canada is planning to regulate under Bill C-14, gasoline retailing has the highest sector measurement compliance rate at over 91%.
- A gasoline retailer has never been convicted of an offence under the Weights and Measures Act.
And yet the short name of the Bill is “Fairness at the Pumps” Act, implying that the bill covers only one sector and that the sector involving gasoline pumps is an underperforming one.
This could not be farther from the truth. Senator, Canadians rely heavily on the gasoline retailing sector, and 72% of gasoline stations in Canada are owned by independent, small or medium sized enterprises (per M.J.Ervin’s 2008 Retail Site Survey).
They form an essential part of the fabric of a small or rural community and the data shows that they are diligent in ensuring that their customers get what they pay for. For this reason we are asking that you stand up for these businesses, by working to eliminate or change the short name of the bill.
I would be happy to talk to you further in person on this matter at your earliest convenience. I can be reached at 416-691-9292.
Jane Savage, P.Eng., MBA
President and CEO
Cc – All members of the Senate of Canada