The Throne Speech, opening the 2nd second session of the 41st Parliament of Canada, came in with a bang – and went out with a bit of a whimper. The Speech was rumoured to be proof of the Government’s commitment to establishing a strong consumer-focused agenda, but  did not deliver the details that guarantee the protection of consumers – and retailers in many important areas.

The good news: The Speech did signal a number of pro-retailer initiatives including a one-for-one swap rule on the introduction of new regulations, the introduction of balanced-budget legislation which points to a commitment to fiscal responsibility, credential recognition across Canada allowing for the free movement of workers (think Loss Prevention professionals) and the need to eliminate geographical price differences. (Here we hope the Government means that it supports retailers and will assist in ensuring vendors don’t discriminate when selling goods to retailers in Canada.)

The not as good news:  In the Speech, the government acknowledged that Canadians deserve to know the real cost of paying by debit or credit card.  RCC welcomes the Government’s recognition of the need to address the issue of high merchant credit card fees, and there is no question that Canadian consumers – and retailers – are tired of hidden fees. But that said, simply telling people how much they are being overcharged doesn’t solve the problem.  We need real action on this issue.  Watch for upcoming news from RCC on how retailers can help us in advancing the need for interchange fee capping.

With your help, RCC will continue to fight hard to bring these merchant fees under control. More than 36 countries world-wide have used regulations to cap these costs.

More information for retailers on the Throne Speech