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BILL NO. 12


Private Members Bill


6th Session, 56th General Assembly

Nova Scotia

46 Elizabeth II, 1997






An Act Respecting Fair-marketing Practices

in the Sale of Gasoline and Diesel Oil






John E. Holm

Sackville-Cobequid








Halifax

Printed by Queens Printer for Nova Scotia




An Act Respecting Fair-marketing Practices

in the Sale of Gasoline and Diesel Oil



Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:


1 This Act may be cited as the Gasoline and Diesel Oil Fair-marketing Practices Act.


2 The purpose of this Act is to promote greater fairness in the wholesale prices of gasoline and diesel oil and encourage the participation of independants in the retail gasoline and diesel oil market.


3 In this Act,


(a) "branded dealer" means a dealer who has entered into a long-term supply arrangement with a refiner or wholesaler of gasoline or diesel oil;


(b) "Commissioner" means the Provincial Tax Commissioner appointed pursuant to the Public Service Act;


(c) "directly operated outlets" includes retail outlets owned and operated by a refiner or wholesaler;


(d) "refiner" means any person engaged in the production of gasoline or diesel oil, whether such production or refining occurs in the Province or elsewhere, and includes a vertically integrated oil company and its affiliates;


(e) "retailer or dealer" includes any person who is engaged in the business of selling gasoline or diesel oil to the general public for ultimate consumption;


(f) "unbranded dealer" includes any retailer or dealer who has not entered a long-term supply arrangement with a vertically integrated oil company;


(g) "wholesale or rack price" means the price at which gasoline or diesel oil is made available to a retailer or dealer;


(h) "wholesaler" includes any person determined to be a wholesaler by the Commissioner, and includes any person who buys gasoline and diesel oil directly from a refiner.


4 (1) Every refiner and every wholesaler shall file with the Commissioner all wholesale or rack prices of gasoline and diesel oil and post those prices in the manner prescribed by the regulations.


(2) The wholesale or rack prices filed and posted pursuant to subsection (1) shall be shown both including and excluding freight.


5 (1) In this Section, "wholesale or rack price" means the wholesale or rack price exclusive of freight.


(2) No refiner shall enter into an agreement with a branded dealer in which the wholesale or rack price is less than the wholesale or rack price charged to any unbranded dealer.


(3) The retail price at a refiners or wholesalers directly operated retail outlet shall at no time be less than the wholesale or rack price the refiner or wholesaler charges to any other wholesaler.


(4) No refiner shall sell gasoline or diesel oil at retail at a price below its highest wholesale or rack price.


6 No refiner shall restrict the supply point at which a dealer or wholesaler is able to obtain gasoline or diesel oil.


7 No refiner shall set a retail price for gasoline or diesel oil other than at its directly operated outlets.


8 The powers of the Commissioner under Part I of the Revenue Act apply mutatis mutandis to this Act.


9 (1) Any person may commence an action or seek injunctive relief against a person who violates this Act and, upon a prima facie showing of a violation, the burden of rebutting the prima facie case shifts to the defendant.


(2) A prima facie showing of a violation exists where the plaintiff shows that


(a) the plaintiffs purchase price from a refiner or wholesaler is greater than the refiners posted wholesale price;


(b) the plaintiffs purchase price from a refiner or wholesaler plus the cost of doing business is greater than the refiners or wholesalers retail sales price; or


(c) the plaintiffs wholesale cost of gasoline and diesel oil plus the plaintiffs cost of doing business is greater than the posted sale price at a retail location of a competitor.


10 A person who contravenes this Act is guilty of an offence and is liable to


(a) in the case of a corporation, a penalty of not more than one hundred thousand dollars for each offence; or


(b) in the case of a person who is not a corporation, a penalty of not more than ten thousand dollars for each offence and, in default of payment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.


11 (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations


(a) prescribing the posting of wholesale or rack prices for gasoline or diesel oil charged to branded dealers and unbranded dealers;


(b) excluding any person from the application of this Act;


(c) defining any word or expression used but not defined in this Act;


(d) respecting any matter deemed necessary or advisable to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of this Act.


(2) The exercise by the Governor in Council of the authority contained in subsection (1) is regulations within the meaning of the Regulations Act.


12 This Act comes into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.


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