Get what you pay for

August 18, 2021

Ottawa Journal (August 18 – August 22, 2021)

Canadians make countless purchases that involve measurement of the goods they’re buying – whether it’s gas for our cars or food for our families. We should be able to depend on the accuracy of those measurements, so we get what we pay for. Consumers should always be able to have confidence that what they pay reflects the advertised price and the actual quantity they purchase.

This is why our Government introduced and passed the Fairness at the Pumps Act, which came into force on August 1st.

Our legislation imposes fines for those who, through carelessness or ill intent, sell inaccurately measured goods. To deter this behavior and give consumers confidence, these fines are significant – up to $10,000 for minor offences, up to $25,000 for major offences, and up to $50,000 for repeat offences.

The Act also establishes regular inspections of gas pumps, retail food scales, and other devices to promote accountability. Measurement Canada will maintain oversight of inspections, undertaking follow-up inspections, on-site audits, and enforcement when necessary.

This addresses a potentially serious situation. Government studies found that, up to 6 per cent of the time, gas pumps do not accurately reflect the advertised price – and the retailer benefits two thirds of the time. By holding retailers accountable, careless behaviour and malicious intent will both be deterred.

Whether you’re driving to work or setting out on a family vacation, fairness at the pumps will help make it a little more affordable. Furthermore, fair measurements in the store will help with grocery bills and everyday living.

Our Government will continue to stand up for hard-working Canadian families and for all consumers. Fairness, at the pump, the deli counter, and anywhere we spend our hard-earned money, is not too much to ask. We’re delivering on our commitment to put consumers first.