The Fairness at the Pumps Act, which amends the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act and the Weights and Measures Act, comes into force on August 1, 2014.
As a result, owners of measuring devices, such as scales and gas pumps, must have their devices inspected at regular intervals. New mandatory inspection frequencies apply to the following sectors: retail petroleum, wholesale petroleum, retail food, mining, grain and field crops, dairy, forestry and fishing. These new inspection frequencies are being phased in based on the geographical location of the devices.
These new measures will give inspectors the right enforcement tools to ensure that businesses are held accountable for the accuracy of their gas pumps and other measuring devices. In fact, authorized service providers are subject to a comprehensive review by Measurement Canada and must meet strict guidelines. Measurement Canada will maintain oversight of the inspection process, including follow-up inspections, on-site audits and enforcement actions when necessary. Measurement Canada annually evaluates authorized service providers to ensure they carry out their duties in accordance with the law.
The Fairness at the Pumps Act increases court-imposed fines under the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act and the Weights and Measures Act up to $10,000 (from $1,000) for minor offences and $25,000 (from $5,000) for major offences. A new fine of up to $50,000 for repeat offences has also been introduced.
In addition, administrative monetary penalties are added to both the Weights and Measures Regulations and the Electricity and Gas Inspection Regulations, providing Measurement Canada with new tools that allow it to employ a graduated enforcement strategy. These penalties range from $250 for each minor violation up to $2,000 for each serious violation.
The Fairness at the Pumps Act strengthens consumer protection against inaccurate measuring devices, such as gas pumps and scales, as well as unfair retailer practices. As consumer confidence is key to a fair and efficient marketplace, the Act also aims to improve consumer confidence in the accuracy of goods bought and sold on the basis of measurement.
Date Modified: 2014-07-31