Government Implements New Measures to Protect Consumers
By A Correspondent
Industry Minister James Moore on July 31 announced that new measures are taking effect to protect Canadian consumers against unfair retail practices, ensuring they get what they pay for when purchasing everyday consumer goods such as gasoline and groceries.
These changes are a result of the coming into force of the Fairness at the Pumps Act. This law will mean greater fairness for consumers by placing more responsibility on retailers to ensure the accuracy of their measuring devices. Retailers will be required to have devices inspected regularly, and they will be subject to hefty fines if they do not comply. If businesses do not do their part to ensure measurement accuracy, they will be held to account.
James Moore, Minister of Industry, said, “"Canadian families expect that when they fuel up, they get what they pay for. The new rules coming into force will mean better protection for consumers when purchasing measured goods such as gasoline and groceries. Canadians expect their government to make decisions that put the interests of consumers first. These new measures will improve the bottom line for Canadian families and ensure that they are getting real value for their hard-earned dollars."
Bruce Cran, President, Consumers' Association of Canada, said, "The Consumers' Association of Canada supports this new federal legislation, which is a much-needed step in the right direction, and applauds Minister Moore's action on this file. The Fairness at the Pumps Act will help make sure Canadians get what they pay for."
The new measures are part of the government's concrete actions to stand up for consumers first.
The new measures, which take effect August 1, 2014, will
- introduce mandatory inspection frequencies for retailers and other vendors who use measuring devices (scales, gas pumps, petroleum meters, etc.);
- apply to measurement-based financial transactions in the retail petroleum, wholesale petroleum, mining, grain and field crops, dairy, forestry, retail food and fishing sectors;
- establish administrative monetary penalties that augment an existing graduated enforcement approach to owners of non-compliant devices; and
- bring in hefty fines and penalties for businesses that do not meet measurement accuracy requirements, including court-imposed fines of up to $10,000 for minor offences, up to $25,000 for major offences and up to $50,000 for repeat offences, and introduce a formal penalties system to back up these fines.