Bureau Activities

The Bureau has engaged in many activities over the years relating to gasoline and other petroleum products. These have included prosecutions, merger reviews, and interventions before regulatory boards. In addition, Bureau representatives have made speeches or submissions to a variety of private and public bodies and the Bureau has commissioned expert reports on an array of issues related to those subjects. Documents related to these activities are listed below along with brief descriptions and hot links where possible.


2013/2012/2011/2010/2009/2008/2002/1999/1998/
1997/1996/1995/1994/1993/1992/1991/1990/1989/1988/1986

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2002

  • 2002-11-20 — Court Decision — The Saskatchewan Provincial Court decided not to commit Sherwood Co-operative Association Limited and one of its managers to trial, following a preliminary inquiry relating to charges laid against them on September 27, 2001. The Judge found there was some evidence that the price of the gasoline retailer in Pilot Butte, Saskatchewan, had been influenced upwards by Sherwood Co-operative. However, there was insufficient evidence that the influence was by one of the means prohibited by the price maintenance section of the Competition Act (section 61(1)(a)), namely by agreement, threat, promise or any like means. The Judge therefore declined to commit the accused to trial.

1999

  • 1999-10-07 — Court Decision — Appeal Decision — Price Maintenance (PDF: 34 KB)
    The conviction of Mr. Gas Limited for price maintenance in 1996 was overturned by the Ontario Court of Appeal. The Department of Justice has decided not to appeal this decision.

Bill C-201

Bill C-201 (previously known as Bill C-235) is a Private Member's Bill that was intended to address allegations that major integrated oil companies were squeezing the margins available to independent gasoline retailers. In preparation for hearings on the Bill before the House of Commons' Standing Committee on Industry, the Bureau commissioned a number of studies to be done by independent experts. These studies, and related statements by Bureau officials, are listed below:

  • 1999-02-25Expert report, Terry Calvani; "Predatory Pricing and State Below-Cost Sales Statutes in the United States: An Analysis".
  • 1999-02-01Expert report, Ronald N. Johnson; "The Impact of Sales-Below-Cost Laws on the U.S. Retail Gasoline Market".

1998

Proposed transaction, June
Husky Oil Limited/Mohawk Canada Limited (Wholesale and retail distribution of petroleum products)
Through a newly incorporated company, Husky purchased by way of a takeover bid all the issued and outstanding shares of Mohawk (retail outlets and bulk plants). This transaction was examined by the Bureau's Mergers Branch, and was deemed unlikely to result in a substantial prevention or lessening of competition.

1997

Proposed Transaction, August
Shell Canada Products Limited/Petrowest Terminals Corp. (Wholesale distribution of petroleum products)
Shell purchased the Petrowest petroleum product terminal located in Calgary. This transaction was examined by the Bureau's Mergers Branch, and was deemed unlikely to result in a substantial prevention or lessening of competition.

1996

Proposed Transaction, August
Husky Oil Marketing Company/Gasland Oil Ltd. (Retail Gasoline)
Husky acquired all of Gasland's 31 retail gasoline sites situated primarily in Alberta. This transaction was examined by the Bureau's Mergers Branch, and was deemed unlikely to result in a substantial prevention or lessening of competition.

Appeal — Price maintenance, February
Mr. Gas Limited filed an appeal on February 23 of its conviction for price maintenance in 1995.

Sentence — Price maintenance, January
Mr. Gas Limited was fined $50,000 following its conviction for price maintenance in 1995.

1995

Proposed Transaction, December
Ultramar Canada Inc./Sunoco Inc. (Retail Gasoline)
Ultramar and Sunoco traded their respective stations in Ontario and Quebec. Ultramar had 96 Ontario-based petroleum retail outlets; Sunoco had 134 outlets in Quebec. This transaction was examined by the Bureau's Mergers Branch, and was deemed unlikely to result in a substantial prevention or lessening of competition.

Conviction — Price Maintenance, August
In September 1992, Mr. Gas Limited attempted to influence upward the prices charged by one of its competitors, Caltex Petroleum Inc.

1995-06-20 — Statement of George N. Addy, Director of Investigation and Research, on the Application of the Competition Act to gasoline pricing issues, to the Standing Committee on Natural Resources.

1994

Proposed Transaction, June
Ultramar Canada Inc./Sergaz (Retail Gasoline)
Ultramar acquired Sergaz's service station assets (about 180 stations) and related business. This transaction was examined by the Bureau's Mergers Branch, and was deemed unlikely to result in a substantial prevention or lessening of competition.

1993

Proposed Transaction, August
Pioneer Petroleums Inc./Sunoco Inc. (Retail Gasoline)
Pioneer Petroleums and Sunoco, a subsidiary of Suncor, created a joint venture which combined the retail service station business of Pioneer with approximately 125 Sunoco service stations. This transaction was examined by the Bureau's Mergers Branch, and was deemed unlikely to result in a substantial prevention or lessening of competition.

1992

Proposed Transaction, February
Pay Less Holdings/Canadian Turbo Inc. (Retail Gasoline and Refining)
Pay Less acquired all issued and outstanding common and non-voting shares of Turbo, whose business included roughly 328 retail, bulk and cardlock outlets, most in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. This transaction was examined by the Bureau's Mergers Branch, and was deemed unlikely to result in a substantial prevention or lessening of competition.

1991

Conviction — Price maintenance, May
Perry Fuels Inc. and Ultramar Canada Inc. (carrying on business as Dixon Fuels) agreed not to solicit each others' customers or to offer price discounts following Perry's threat to initiate a price war if Ultramar did not cease offering discounts. Ultramar was fined $150,000 and Perry was fined $40,000.

Proposed Transaction, May
99943 Ontario/Cango Petroleum Inc. (Retail gasoline)

Proposed Transaction, May
Shell Canada Limited/Cango Petroleum Inc. (Retail gasoline)
Shell acquired 27 retail gasoline outlets from Cango. This transaction was examined by the Bureau's Mergers Branch, and was deemed unlikely to result in a substantial prevention or lessening of competition.

Bureau's Appearance, Nova Scotia House of Assembly, June
The Nova Scotia Board of Public Utilities' 1989 proceedings relating to the possible licensing of an independent retailer received wide media coverage. This led to hearings before the Nova Scotia Law Amendments Committee of the House of Assembly on whether or not Nova Scotia should deregulate the gasoline industry. On June 20, representatives of the Competition Bureau appeared before the Committee to support the deregulation of the gasoline industry and to provide an overview of the Competition Act and answer questions from the Committee. Subsequently, the industry was deregulated, effective July 1st, through the passing of Bill 138 which amended the Gasoline and Fuel Oil Licensing Act, Chapter 184 of the Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1989.

1990

Proposed Transaction, May
Shell Canada Products Ltd./Penny Fuels Inc. (Retail gasoline)
Shell leased 20 sites from Penny which were previously leased by Penny to Imperial Oil. This transaction was examined by the Bureau's Mergers Branch, and was deemed unlikely to result in a substantial prevention or lessening of competition.

Appeal Decision — Price maintenance, February
A $100,000 fine levied against Shell Canada Ltd. in 1989 was increased to $200,000 on appeal.

1989

1989-11-10Consent Order (PDF: 8 KB)
Consent Order directing the divestiture of assets including certain assets acquired by Imperial Oil Ltd. by virtue of its acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of Texaco Canada Inc.

Director's Submission, Nova Scotia Board of Public Utilities, November
The Competition Bureau intervened before the Nova Scotia Board of Public Utilities in support of an independent gasoline retailer and wholesaler seeking a licence to open a retail outlet in Truro, Nova Scotia. At the time, the gasoline industry was regulated by Nova Scotia laws in terms of licencing entry, setting wholesale prices, and regulating retail margins. The Competition Bureau's intervention focussed on the pro-competitive effects of allowing independent retailers to open outlets. The Bureau submitted that a free market, allowing the opportunity for the expansion of independent retailers, would enhance competition and greatly benefit the public interest. The Board denied the retailer's application and the retailer's appeal to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, appeal Division, was dismissed on November 20.

Proposed Transaction, November
Shell Canada Products Ltd/Pay Less Gas Co. (Retail gasoline)
Shell had a right of first refusal to acquire all 66 Pay Less outlets in British Columbia. This transaction was examined by the Bureau's Mergers Branch, and was deemed unlikely to result in a substantial prevention or lessening of competition.

Conviction — Price Maintenance, February
A marketing representative of Shell approached a dealer and pressured him to raise his prices; fine of $100,000 (increased to $200,000 on appeal — see 1990).

1988

Appeal Decision — Price Maintenance, May
A fine of $200,000 levied against Sunoco Inc. in 1986 was reduced to $100,000 on appeal.

1986

Conviction — Price Maintenance , June
Sunoco Inc. removed price supports from one of its dealers who had initiated price reductions; fine of $200,000 (reduced to $100,000 on appeal — see 1988).

Executive Summary of RTPC hearings.
Commission releases a three-volume report entitled "Competition in the Petroleum Industry".

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