Brown: Competition Bureau won’t look at gas prices

In this Aug. 16, 2015, file photo, an SUV heads by the Petro-Canada gas station on Stewart Boulevard. MP Gord Brown says the Competition Bureau won't investigate gas pricing in the city because there's no hard evidence. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

BROCKVILLE – The federal Competition Bureau has thrown cold water on the suggestion by MP Gord Brown that local gas prices should be investigated.

Brown said the bureau doesn’t see any evidence that owners in Brockville are conspiring to raise prices.

“That happens because the stations involved are all owned or serviced by the same company,” Brown explained.

Brown said his office received a call from the bureau explaining that it couldn’t do anything without hard evidence.

He has called on the economic development minister to update the rules and guidelines for the bureau to “reflect the realities of monopolistic markets in small centers.”

Brown, armed with a 1,400 signature petition, had called on the federal Competition Bureau in the middle of February to investigate gas prices in Brockville.

In early February, gas was in the high seventies (cents per liter) in Ottawa, the mid-eighties in the county and Highway 401, while it was in the mid-nineties in Brockville, his letter stated.