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431-00145 (Consumer protection)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Honorable Navdeep Bains, Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry

WHEREAS

  • The price of 87 octane gasoline in the community of Powell River was stagnant at $1.599/litre from June to November 2019;
  • All seven vendors of gasoline maintained the exact same price throughout that period;
  • During the same period price for the same product fluctuated, sometimes dramatically, in the nearby regions of Northern Vancouver Island and the Greater Vancouver Area;
  • Following significant media attention on this same issue the price of the same product dropped to $1.499/litre or less; and
  • The price of the same product has remained stagnant at $1.499/litre since the drop, while prices in nearby regions continue to fluctuate.

We, the electors of the qathet Regional District, call upon the Honorable Navdeep Bains to:

  • Order an investigation of collusion and price-fixing through the Competition Bureau Canada of gasoline vendors in the community of Powell River, British Columbia.

Response by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Navdeep Bains

The Government of Canada thanks the petitioners for raising their concerns regarding fuel pricing in British Columbia, specifically in the Powell River area. This petition has been forwarded to the Competition Bureau, Canada’s independent enforcement agency in competition matters, for their awareness.

As a law enforcement agency responsible for enforcing the Competition Act, the Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”) investigates alleged anticompetitive conduct. The Competition Act includes provisions against, price-fixing competitor collaborations, price maintenance and abuse of dominant position. All of these provisions can apply to the gasoline market and to other petroleum product markets.

The Commissioner of Competition may commence an investigation based on information obtained from a variety of sources, including when a formal complaint is lodged. The Commissioner has the power to initiate investigations on his own authority, based on market observations or in response to formal complaints. Any member of the public may submit a complaint to the Bureau, using the form found at the following address:

https://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/frm-eng/GH%C3%89T-7TDNA5

Upon receiving a complaint, the Bureau examines the relevant information to determine whether a formal inquiry should be commenced. If so, it may contact other customers or competitors to obtain more information. The Bureau may make use of tools at its disposal, such as seeking court authorization to compel information. If violation of the law can be identified, the Bureau will not hesitate to seek action before the courts in appropriate cases.

Once again, the Government thanks you for bringing these concerns forward.

Presented to the House of Commons
Rachel Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
March 11, 2020 (Petition No. 431-00145)
Government response tabled
May 25, 2020
Photo - Rachel Blaney
North Island—Powell River
New Democratic Party Caucus
British Columbia

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.

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