Competition Bureau lacks drawers

by Jack Locke

Here is the Canadian Competition Bureau’s reply to my complaint. It took them less than 24 hours to respond, indicating to me that they mean business, or are in cahoots with business.

Competition Bureau | 50 Victoria Street, Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0C9

Our File: R582678

Dear Mr. Locke:

Thank you for the information you provided regarding Gasoline prices

The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace. The Bureau is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act, which includes provisions against price fixing, price maintenance and abusive behaviour by a dominant firm resulting in a lessening of competition. The Act applies to gasoline and other petroleum products markets.

The Bureau has the power to deal with illegal behaviour affecting competition and it takes its responsibilities seriously. The Bureau has examined the petroleum industry over the years and, when warranted by the evidence, has taken enforcement action. Where Bureau investigators secure sufficient evidence of an offence, the Commissioner will not hesitate to refer the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions for prosecution.

Businesses are generally free to set their own prices, at whatever levels the market will bear. Individual gasoline suppliers taking advantage of tight supply to increase their prices would not raise issues because charging high prices at times of actual or anticipated excess demand, is not contrary to the Act. However, when there is evidence that high prices are the result of anti-competitive conduct subject to the Act, the Bureau will investigate and take appropriate action.

Over time, prices tend to reflect costs, and so gasoline prices tend to follow changes in crude oil prices. However, other factors can also affect gasoline prices, including local market conditions, shortages of refined gasoline, and uncertainty about the adequacy of future supplies which can add a risk premium to prices.

Should you have specific information indicating that gasoline prices in your area are the result of an agreement among competitors, or some other type of anti-competitive behaviour, I encourage you to forward that information to the Bureau.

It should be noted that the federal government does not control the price of most goods and services sold in Canada, including gasoline. Except in the event of a national emergency, only the provinces have the authority to regulate gasoline prices.

You may also want to visit the Bureau’s web site, at, for further information on the Bureau’s activities relating to gasoline. For general information on fuel prices, oil and gasoline markets and ways to manage energy costs, please visit Natural Resources Canada’s Fuel Focus at

We invite you to visit our Web site,, to learn more about the work of the Competition Bureau and to access public information on case developments and general information about our programs and activities.

Thank you again for taking the time to bring this matter to our attention.

Jennifer Dunn

Competition Bureau Information Officer

1-800-348-5358 | facsimile 819-997-0324 | ATS/TTY 1-800-642-3844


2 Responses to “Competition Bureau lacks drawers”

  1. Why we can’t trust the Competition Bureau « Lockeblog Says:

    […] Lockeblog © Jack Locke 2010. All rights reserved. « Competition Bureau lacks drawers […]

  2. dave Says:

    “no, no…we no do nothing here…mister harper he no here. no, we no do nothing, no.

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