An Act to provide for an interim freeze in the price of certain petroleum products
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1. In this Act,
``inspector" means a person designated by the Minister in writing as an inspector for the purposes of this Act; (``inspecteur")
``Minister" means the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations or such other member of the Executive Council to whom administration of this Act may be assigned under the Executive Council Act\; (``ministre")
``petroleum product" means any liquid distilled or recovered from crude petroleum or any liquid containing a derivative from crude petroleum that is in a form appropriate as a fuel for heating or as a fuel for internal combustion engines and includes diesel fuel; (``produit ptrolier")
``price" means the total amount paid by the purchaser in the purchase of a petroleum product, except any component of the amount paid that is referrable to a duty or tax on the petroleum product imposed, levied and collected by or under any law of the Parliament of Canada; (``prix")
``regulations" means the regulations made under this Act; (``rglements")
``seller" means a person who sells or offers for sale in Ontario a petroleum product for resale, exchange, consumption or other disposition in Ontario. (``vendeur")
Petroleum products price freeze
2. (1)Subject to subsection (2) and the regulations, on and after the day this Act comes into force, no person shall sell or offer for sale in Ontario a petroleum product for resale, exchange, consumption or other disposition in Ontario at a price greater than,
(a)the price being charged by the person in Ontario for the same grade of petroleum product at the commencement of business on February 14, 1999; or
(b)where no price was charged by the person in Ontario for the petroleum product or any particular grade of the petroleum product, as referred to in clause (a), at such price as may be prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
Extension by order in council
(2)Subsection (1) does not apply after 90 days from the day this Act comes into force, but the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, if the Legislative Assembly is recessed or not in session on that date, make an order extending the date by not more than an additional 60 days.
3. The Minister may require any seller of a petroleum product to provide him or her with such information as the Minister requests concerning the seller's sales of the petroleum product and the prices, taxes and duties being paid and charged for them.
4. (1)An inspector may at any reasonable time enter upon the premises of a seller to make an inspection to ensure that the provisions of this Act and the regulations are being complied with.
Powers on inspection
(2)Upon an inspection under this section,
(a)the inspector is entitled to free access to all books of account, cash, documents, bank accounts, vouchers, correspondence and records of the person being inspected that are relevant for the purposes of the inspection; and
(b)the inspector may, upon giving a receipt for it, remove any material referred to in clause (a) that relates to the purpose of the inspection for the purpose of making a copy of it.
Prompt return of materials
(3)An inspector shall make copies under clause (2) (b) with reasonable dispatch, and shall promptly return the material.
(4)No person shall obstruct an inspector or withhold or destroy, conceal or refuse to furnish any information or thing required by the inspector for the purposes of an inspection.
Admissibility of copies
(5)Any copy made as provided in subsection (2) and purporting to be certified by an inspector is admissible in evidence in any action, proceeding or prosecution as proof of the original in the absence of evidence to the contrary.
5. The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations,
(a)requiring sellers of petroleum products to the public to post signs or notices in such places and containing such information as is prescribed;
(b)prescribing the conditions under which a price greater than the price determined under section 2 may be charged by a seller for a petroleum product;
(c)requiring a seller of a petroleum product for resale or exchange to give the purchaser of the product such information as may be prescribed respecting the tax components of the total amount paid by the purchaser.
6. (1)Every person commits an offence who,
(a)knowingly furnishes false information in any statement or return required to be furnished under this Act;
(b)contravenes any provision of this Act or the regulations; or
(c)refuses to comply with a request of the Minister under section 3.
Penalty for individuals
(2)An individual who is guilty of offence under subsection (1) is liable on conviction to a fine of not more than $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both.
Penalty for corporations
(3)A corporation that is guilty of offence under subsection (1) is liable on conviction to a fine of not more than $25,000.
Penalty for officers and directors
(4)Where a corporation is guilty of an offence under subsection (1) every director or officer of the corporation who authorizes, permits or acquiesces in the offence is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both.
7.This Act comes into force ten days after it receives Royal Assent.
8.The short title of this Act is the Petroleum Products Price Freeze Act, 2000.
The Bill freezes the price of petroleum products at the price of those products on February 14, 1999. The freeze applies from the day the Bill comes into force and lasts for 90 days. If the Legislative Assembly is not sitting when the freeze ends, the Minister may make an order extending the freeze for another 60 days.