HUGHES ADVOCATES CONSUMER PROTECTION ON FAIRNESS AT THE PUMPS ACT

OTTAWA – Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP Carol Hughes spoke in the House of Commons last night to voice her concerns with the Conservative governments Fairness at the Pumps Act.

Bill C-14 is meant to address significant problems with faulty fuel pumps that charge consumers for fuel they are not receiving. Hughes questioned why the act doesn’t provide a mechanism for consumers to be compensated for taxes paid on fuel they didn’t receive. Two years ago, the Ottawa Citizen reported on an investigation by Measurement Canada, which found 5% of fuel pumps across Canada provided less fuel than was stated on the pump display.

“When we hear Measurement Canada say that 5% of the pumps are delivering less fuel than reported on the pump display, we feel even more vulnerable” Hughes exclaimed in the House of Commons. “There are major concerns with what is happening. I hear it constantly from people in my riding with regard to the price of gas, the fact that the measurements are not correct, and temperature comes into play as well.”

The Fairness at the Pumps Act would increase fines and penalties for offending gasoline retailers, and increase the frequency of inspection. However, the onus for inspection is being placed on private companies within the gas industry, which, as many New Democrats have argued, would take impartiality away from inspections. Also, the act does not call for an ombudsman to investigate complaints from consumers.

“The deregulation of Measurement Canada and having industry investigate itself is the same as the Conservatives saying they are going to be tough on crime and then turning around and saying that the offenders should regulate themselves,” stated Hughes.

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