gives approval to second gas outlet for Stratford
November 23, 2010
Stratford drivers will have a second
choice of where to get their gas after the Island Regulatory and Appeals
Commission approved a licence for a new gas station.
IRAC issued its decision last week and
Karbrennal’s Company Inc.’s application for a licence won out over one
by Stratford Petroleum that could have potentially seen competing
stations built next to each other on Jubilee Drive next to the
But after more than nine months,
including a hearing that lasted several weeks, IRAC decided to grant
only one licence and chose Karbrennal.
Bob Carmichael, who owns Karbrennal
and the Cornwall Esso, said Monday he still has to meet with the
commission to finalize details, but he is looking forward to opening a
new station in Stratford.
“We’re quite excited, to say the
least,” he said.
The new station will be built on
Jubilee and Shakespeare Drives, but Carmichael said he hasn’t finalized
which brand the story will open under.
“We haven’t signed any deals with
In its ruling, IRAC sited Carmichael’s
years of experience in the industry as one of the factors in its
The commission also said a large
number of Stratford residents surveyed by the applicants wanted a new
station and although there seems to be enough demand for one more
station, the approval of a second would have been bad for all three.
Carmichael said he hopes to meet with
IRAC later this week to discuss the licence, but once all the details
are worked out he wants to see work start on the new station in the
“I think realistically we’re looking
at opening in early summer,” he said.
Because a supplier hasn’t been
determined yet, the design plans haven’t been finalized either,
Carmichael said, but added he thinks the station will have either three
or four gas pump islands.
“Sometimes it’s determined by what
your offer is,” he said.
Doug MacDonald opposed the application
on behalf of Cape D’or Holdings, which owns the Stratford Esso and
although he had spoken out against the proposed stations, he spoke
highly of Carmichael who he said was a good businessman.
“He’s a good operator in Cornwall and
I’m sure he’ll make some customers happy in Stratford,” MacDonald said.
Although he knows the new station will
affect Stratford Esso’s business, MacDonald said the business will
survive the added competition.
“I think we’re positioned pretty well
in that market,” he said.
APM president Tim Banks, who also
testified during the licensing hearing, said the whole process of
applying for gas station licences is a silly process.
“We need to breed competition, not
stop it and IRAC is famous for stopping competition,” he said.
Banks compared the process to the
lottery and said other applicants before Karbrennal were denied licences
in Stratford, but this time someone was lucky enough to get one.
“On P.E.I. there is nothing wrong with
a free enterprise system and the market will dictate who survives and