ANJOU, Quebec, April 15, 2010 — The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec), on behalf of the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, today announced that the Government of Canada has introduced measures to protect Canadian consumers from inaccurate measurement when purchasing gasoline or other measured goods. The proposed Fairness at the Pumps Act will make retailers more accountable for the accuracy of their pumps and other measuring devices.  

“Canadians’ confidence in the accuracy of measurement-based transactions is vitally important to our economy, especially at a time when family budgets are spread thin,” said Minister of State Lebel. “The proposed Fairness at the Pumps Act means Canadian consumers will be protected against unfair practices and can be more confident in everyday transactions that involve measurement.”  

“When Canadians pull into a station to gas up, they want to know that what’s on the pump is what’s in the tank,” said Minister Clement. “The proposed act gives businesses strong incentives to ensure the accuracy of their devices.”  

The Fairness at the Pumps Act proposes to increase retailer accountability for measuring device accuracy by requiring that they have devices such as gas pumps and retail food scales inspected at regular intervals. Additionally, increased court-imposed fines of $10 000 for minor offences, $25 000 for major offences, and a new fine for repeat offences of up to $50 000 are proposed in combination with the introduction of a system of administrative monetary penalties to ensure appropriate deterrence against measurement inaccuracy.  

The new act also proposes the creation of a system of authorized service providers, trained and certified by Measurement Canada, to perform inspections. The proposed use of non-government inspectors to fulfill mandatory inspection requirements would create or expand business opportunities in communities, as well as allow Measurement Canada to leverage its resources to improve measurement accuracy and raise consumer confidence in the marketplace.  

Under the Fairness at the Pumps Act, Measurement Canada inspectors would continue to assess accuracy of measurement devices through independent inspections, as well as responding to complaints of inaccurate measure and performing follow-up inspections of non-government inspectors. Measurement Canada inspectors would be solely responsible for taking enforcement actions when offences are identified.  

View the release online at http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/ic1.nsf/eng/05474.html