OTTAWA – A series of recommendations was tabled by the NDP in the House of Commons today that would bring Canada to the forefront in an increasingly digital marketplace.
“The Conservative government is dragging its heels when it comes to the digital economy. Without proper regulations in the digital world, it’s starting to look like the Wild West,” said NDP Industry critic, Hélène LeBlanc. “The consultations for a digital strategy were launched two years ago, but we still have no indication what the Conservative strategy would look like and when it will be delivered.”
NDP Consumer Protection critic, Glenn Thibeault, pointed out that the lack of strategy also affects how small businesses handle transactions. “The higher rate of merchant fees faced by our domestic businesses in comparison to their US counterparts goes a long way to explaining Canada’s lacklustre performance in the global e-commerce market.”
Government costs for merchant fees have cost taxpayers $61 million over five years. “The government has incredible negotiating power, yet they’re still paying these fees. It’s obvious that small businesses stand no chance against merchant fees. That’s why New Democrats are calling for increased regulation for electronic payments,” added Thibeault.
The full supplementary report can be found online, detailing the NDP’s concerns with rural internet access, data on technology use in Canada, digital literacy and standards and regulations for e-commerce.