Conservatives let down consumers and small business

November 4, 2014 


OTTAWA - After promising to take real action on merchant fees, today Conservatives retreated in the face of opposition from Visa and Mastercard, ensuring Canadian consumers and small businesses will continue to pay more, and get less.

Over a year ago, the Canadian Competition Tribunal ruled that conditions imposed by Visa and Mastercard on Canadian businesses were anti-competitive, and the fees they charged were excessive. In a rare move, the Tribunal called for government regulation.

In their 2014 Budget, Conservatives acknowledged that Canadian businesses currently pay among the highest merchant fees in the world and promised to take action. 

“Today’s announcement that credit card companies will instead take ‘voluntary actions’ is a shameful climb-down” said NDP Small Business critic Glenn Thibeault (Sudbury). “It’s proof that Conservatives simply will not stand up for Canadian consumers or small businesses if it risks offending Conservative insiders on Bay Street.”

“We can’t allow companies to set their own disciplinary measures,” said NDP Small Business critic Annick Papillon. “We agree with the Competition Tribunal – when it comes to transaction fees, it is obvious that the government needs to pass legislation in the public interest in order to lower consumer prices and help SMEs in difficulty.” 

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