Statement of CPPI President Peter Boag following a meeting with Mike Colle, MPP for Eglinton-Lawrence and sponsor of Private Member's Bill "Jayesh's Law" - Sept. 27, 2012

Preventing Fuel Theft is an Industry Priority

OTTAWA, Sept. 28, 2012 /CNW/ - The tragic death of Jayesh Prajapati during a fuel theft earlier this month in Toronto reinforced to us all how fuel theft puts the safety of employees and customers at risk.  As President of CPPI, I offer my heartfelt condolences to Mr. Prajapati's family and friends.  I would also like to recognize and thank the Toronto Police for their continuing efforts to bring closure to their investigation.

CPPI members fully accept their responsibility to safeguard retail employees, associates and customers. Their health and safety should never be at risk.  CPPI members have robust safety and security policies, practices and procedures in place - they are regularly evaluated and updated to improve effectiveness.  Members share best practices and training materials and encourage their adoption by all independent retailers operating under their brands.  We are also working with others in the industry (the Canadian Independent Petroleum Marketers Association and the Ontario Convenience Stores Association) and Crime Stoppers to create broader awareness of the risks of fuel theft, and assist police with enforcement efforts.

Mr. Prajapati's death has caused us to redouble our efforts to prevent the serious crime of fuel theft.   As I discussed with Mike Colle, MPP for Eglinton--Lawrence yesterday, CPPI members are taking the following steps to address fuel theft:

Safety and Enforcement

  • Review current safety procedures and use principles of 'best practices' to ensure worker and customer safety at retail sites, and make appropriate changes to ensure continuous improvement in retail site safety.
  • Ensure all safety practices are reinforced with retail staff
  • Meet with enforcement agencies to review best practices

Business and Contractual Arrangements

  • Review business arrangements with independent retailers who market under their corporate brands to ensure contract requirements are fully understood
  • Confirm all applicable provincial and federal laws are well understood and respected
  • Clearly articulate policies relating to compensation for theft to ensure there is no confusion in responsibilities and requirements - a fuel theft loss should never come out of the compensation of a retail sales attendant.
  • Clearly communicate safety policies, expectations and responsibilities of retail network attendants.

Voluntary Pre-Pay at the Pump

  • Review and continuously improve voluntary pre-payment practices and extend them to sites on a perceived risk basis
  • Evaluate large-scale voluntary  pre-payment and effects on small business operators

Furthermore, CPPI supports the efforts of MPP Mike Colle to address the seriousness of fuel theft through more collaboration with industry and with changes to legislation including:

Employment Standards Act

  • Specifically prohibit employers from penalizing an employee because of a fuel theft that occurs while the employee is working, and increase fines for employers who are convicted of contravening this provision

Highway Traffic Act

  • Suspend the driver's licence of a person who is convicted for an offence involving the theft of fuel

With respect to the proposed changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act that would make prepayment mandatory for all retail fuel purchases, CPPI members already institute voluntary pre-payment provisions on a risk management basis, and have made further commitments to pre-payment as noted above.   Imposing a 'one size fits all' approach across the diverse range of retail fuel site circumstances found throughout the province should only occur following thorough due diligence to ensure that this solution is the best way to protect the interests of Ontarians.

CPPI members remain committed to working with independent retailers, enforcement agencies, legislators, and Crime Stoppers to eliminate the threat of fuel theft and the safety risk it poses to employees, associates and customers.

The Canadian Petroleum Products Institute represents major national and regional refiners, distributors and retailers of transportation fuels.

SOURCE: Canadian Petroleum Products Institute

For further information:

Laura Markle at 613-232-3709 ext. 206 or lauramarkle@cppi.ca

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