OTTAWA – While the Conservatives waste millions on ads about their failed Economic Action Plan, their real record is one of failing to take concrete action to help consumers, say New Democrats.
“Conservatives like to pretend they are good fiscal managers, but when it comes to the well-being of consumers, the reality is their record is dismal,” said Official Opposition Consumer Affairs critic Glenn Thibeault (Sudbury). “They hit Canadians right in the pocketbook when they raised tariffs on more than 1,200 products in their last budget alone.”
According to media reports, Conservatives are now trying to claim that consumer protection is one of their priorities—but their decision to vote down a New Democrat motion that would protect consumers from unfair practices by credit card companies shows otherwise. In fact, it was only after strong pressure from New Democrats that the Conservatives backed down on their controversial new iPod tax.
“At a time when two-thirds of the population lives paycheque to paycheque and family budgets are stretched to the breaking point, Canadians don’t need more empty promises—they need real solutions,” added deputy critic Annick Papillon (Québec).
New Democrats are proposing real solutions for Canadians:
- capping ATM fees at 50 cents per transaction;
- ensuring Canadians have access to a no-frills credit card (at 5% plus prime);
- cracking down on payday loan companies that use extra fees to effectively charge more than the legal lending rate;
- stopping companies from charging clients for paper bills (“pay-to-pay” fees);
- strengthening the Competition Bureau’s mandate by creating a prosecution service within the Bureau, to prosecute offences under the Competition Act.