It's time to rethink IRAC's role
This week I had my first experience at an Island Regulatory And Appeals Commission (IRAC) hearing. In it, were 14 people dressed in nice suits discussing the possibility of adding 2 new gas stations to Stratford. These 14 people impact whether the third largest town on PEI can handle 2 new gas stations for a total of 3 retail outlets.
The hearings have been going on for 10 days now for at least 7 hours a day. That's a whooping 70 hours per person in these hearings. Multiple that number by 14 people and they've clocked in over 980 hours. That's almost half a year of 1 person working on these 2 files.
Half a year of wages to discuss whether or not the Town of Stratford should have the same number of gas stations as Souris. The small Community of Souris (1300 people) has three gas stations for a heck of a lot less people then the town of Stratford (7100), which has 1 gas outlet.
These meetings, if you will, are examples of how PEI is being held back from prosperity and being controlled by an old boys club. Having hearings over whether or not two new gas stations should be allowed in the Town of Stratford is nothing but wasting these 14 individuals time as well as a waste of tax payers money. Sure that might be good for the 14 people, but seriously, does our province really need an economy which new entrants are determined by established, existing businesses who are obviously in a conflict of interest when it comes to another competitor opening in their area.
Let the new stations open, what negative will it create? Increase employment? More competition? Sure to the Stratford Esso this may be a negative but to the regular joes from PEI, it'll be a bonus. Increasing the number of outlets in the third largest town/community on PEI will only force all three competitors to offer the best service possible not to mention discounts on pricing for specific products. When companies compete we all know who wins, their clients.
It is without a doubt that the new businesses should be able to open up to allow for increased competition between the outlets. I also think it's time the province should be rethinking the role of IRAC.
John Morris is a blogger and web developer with morriscode. While spending most of his time on websites and social media, he really enjoys developing websites and helping companies become more efficent through their website.
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