News release

Province to Continue to Act as Regulator

The province will continue to act as the regulator and set fuel prices under the Petroleum Products Pricing Act until an independent review of the policy is completed, Jamie Muir, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, said today, Oct. 30.

"We've promised an independent review of the policy and, separate from that, are carefully weighing the recent report of the Utility and Review Board (UARB) on gasoline regulation," said Mr. Muir. "Once the policy review is done then we have context for the UARB report."

The Utility and Review Board was originally slated to assume responsibility for setting the price of gasoline and diesel fuel in Nova Scotia on Nov. 1. The government's overall policy review is due to begin early next year.

"Certainly it doesn't seem to make sense to ask the UARB to assume the duties as regulator until we know if, and under what conditions the policy is going to continue," the minister said. "If the review suggests ways to improve the system then we want to look at them before making the final transfer, if any, to the UARB."

Mr. Muir said that regulation is a policy that is designed to work over the long term and any credible review probably requires the system to be in operation for six months before any analysis can determine if it is delivering benefits.

Regulation of gasoline in Nova Scotia was initiated on July 1. A request for proposals for an independent review of the policy will be issued in November with a starting date of Jan. 1, 2007.

All four Atlantic provinces now regulate gasoline and diesel fuel prices available to the general motoring public. Each province varies in how and on what day prices are prices are set.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The province will continue to set the price of gas and diesel fuel until an independent review of gas regulation is completed next year.

Jamie Muir, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations says the Utility and Review Board should not assume responsibility to regulate gas prices until the independent review is completed and it is determined whether regulation will continue.

The Utility and Review Board was due to take over as regulator on November 1st.

The review is due to start on January 1st, and will examine whether Nova Scotians have benefitted since price regulation began six months ago.

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Media Contact:

Dale Madill
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations 902-424-5051 E-mail: