Mr. Speaker, in regard to a) Between January 2006 and January 2010, there have not been any changes to the services Measurement Canada provides and there are none planned. The agency will continue to administer the Weights and Measures Act and Electricity and Gas Inspection Act and deliver the services required by the statutes. These services include evaluating and approving prototype measuring devices, e.g., scales, gas pumps, electricity and natural gas meters, for use in Canada; testing and certifying the accuracy of measuring devices, investigating consumer and business complaints of alleged inaccurate measurement, granting private sector organizations the authority to test and certify measuring devices on the agency’s behalf and ongoing audit/oversight of these authorized service providers to ensure compliance with program criteria and retention of required competencies, and calibrating and certifying the accuracy of physical measurement standards, e.g., weights, volume standards, test consoles, used to determine the accuracy of measuring devices.
In regard to b) Measurement Canada has two voluntary programs for the purpose of authorizing private sector service providers to test and inspect devices, the accreditation program and the registration program. Neither of these two programs has undergone significant changes since 2006 and there are no planned changes to program requirements in 2009.
The availability of these two programs improves device-owner access to inspection services by giving authorized service providers the flexibility to adopt the business model that best suits their needs and client base. There are presently 58 organizations accredited to inspect scales, gas pumps and other mass and volume measuring devices and 60 organizations accredited to inspect electricity and natural gas meters.
The registration program is available in the retail gas, retail food, dairy, fishing, forestry, mining, downstream petroleum and grain and field crop sectors. There are presently 44 organizations registered to inspect scales, gas pumps and other mass and volume devices.
Over the past year, Measurement Canada has performed in-depth stakeholder consultations in the chemical products, food and beverage manufacturing, fruits and vegetables and livestock and poultry sectors. The scope of the registration program may be expanded to include these sectors in the next year depending on the stakeholder consensus-based recommendations resulting from consultations in these sectors. However, registration program requirements will not change.
Measurement Canada audits the competencies of accredited and registered organizations on a regular basis to ensure compliance with program criteria and retention of required competencies.
Further information concerning the accreditation program and the registration program may be found on Measurement Canada’s website at http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/mc-mc.nsf/eng/h_lm00003.html
In regard to c) The salaries of accredited and registered organizations are paid by the companies, e.g., service station retailers, grocery store owners, who hire them to test and certify their devices. In the case of electricity and natural gas meters owned by accredited utilities, the salaries are paid by the utility.