May 16th, 2019 - 7:47pm
Government must restore the Gas Price Monitoring Agency
(Ottawa)- Today, Brian Masse M.P. (Windsor West), NDP Innovation, Science, Economic Development and Auto Critic, in the House of Commons during Question Period demanded that the government restore the Gas Price Monitoring Agency to protect consumers from price gouging.
Masse stated, “Mr. Speaker, With gas prices soaring once again nothing protects Canadians from being gouged. A gas price monitoring agency was being established until it was destroyed by the previous Conservative government. And meanwhile, Canadians keep getting ripped off! Gas pumps routinely charge people the wrong amount of money. But when Canadians pump their gas, they want to know they’re paying the correct amount of money! And to make this worse, that pumps are rarely inspected.
Canadians are fed up. Why won’t this government finally protect consumers and restore the price monitoring agency?”
M-3 – PETROLEUM MONITORING AGENCY
“That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) create a petroleum monitoring agency with a three-year mandate to collect and disseminate, on a timely basis, price data on crude oil, refined petroleum products, and retail gasoline for all relevant North American markets; (b) in consultation with stakeholders from the petroleum sector (the “majors“, the “independents“, and consumer groups), appoint a director who would lead this agency; (c) require the agency to report to Parliament on an annual basis on the competitive aspects of the petroleum sector in Canada; and (d) request that the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Natural Resources, Science and Technology review the agency’s performance and the need for an extension of its mandate following the tabling of the agency’s third report.”
- Brian Masse has re-introduced this motion (formerly M-177) into the House of Commons to try and generate discussion about consumers’ rights with regards to gas prices.
- Had such a price monitoring agency been formed prior to the incredible price hikes as a result of Hurricane Katrina and the winter 06 spike, there would be concrete, independent data to examine the pricing practices of oil and gas companies
- During 2003 and 2005 Industry Committee hearings, MPs heard from a variety of stakeholders including industry and consumer groups, and although no incidence of price-fixing has ever been proven, rapid price changes do little to convince Canadian consumers that it does not happen i.
- In 2003, the Competition Commissioner appeared during the hearings and suggested that it was not appropriate for his office to investigate, but that a neutral body, not an investigation agency, should investigate the issue.
- In 2005 in the dying days of the Liberal government the concept of a price monitoring agency was announced, although no legislation was ever introduced to establish such an agency.
- Motion M-3 adopts the spirit and language of the Committee’s recommendation in 2003 and would ensure that Canadians have one access point for information on the industry and its’ pricing mechanisms. It would also provide the independent analysis that is needed of this issue that affects people’s emotions as well as their wallets.“Canadians will not “get used” to unaccountable soaring gas prices. Canadians are fed up and they expect their government to do something about the price gouging going on at the gas pumps. It is time for the Liberal government to support accountable energy pricing and support a solution since they have none. Consumers want a reasonable assurance that big oil is not taking advantage of them every time there is a price change.”