NEWS
 
Federal budget to focus on Canadian consumers
The Tories will promise legislation in Tuesday's budget to stop ``country pricing'
2 0

The Conservative government is poised to crack down on multinational companies that charge Canadian customers more than Americans on everything from books to clothing and appliances.
    
A government official tells The Canadian Press the Tories will promise legislation in Tuesday's budget to stop ``country pricing'' _ when multinational brands set different prices in Canada and the United States.
    
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of the budget's release, says the legislation will address the price gap and empower the country's competition commissioner to enforce the new rules.
    
The government also intends to monitor whether last year's elimination of tariffs on baby clothing and sports  equipment _ some of them as high as 20 per cent _ is being passed onto consumers at the retail level.
    
A recent report by the Retail Council of Canada, which has worked with the government to tackle country pricing, concluded the tariff cuts have resulted in lower prices for consumers.
    
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is expected to chop more tariffs on Tuesday, although the Consumers Association of Canada has expressed skepticism about whether such steps do indeed cut costs.
    
The new initiatives are part of the government's effort to respond to consumer complaints about higher costs, price-gouging and price discrimination, the official said.
    
Flaherty has hinted for months _ including in last fall's throne speech _ that a crackdown on companies taking advantage of the Canada-U.S. price gap would be in the cards.
    
Following the speech, Flaherty said officials in his department were sitting down with major retailers to determine why Canadians are charged higher prices on an array of goods.
    
``There are some companies that look at Canada as a small market, relatively well off, with a large middle class, and willing to pay a little more,'' he said at the time. ``And they'll pay.''
    
While he confessed to being wary of interfering with the free market system, he added: ``There are always persuasive techniques that can be used to nudge people in the right direction.''
    
A Senate finance committee report released last year, however, suggested several complex factors were to blame for price differences between Canada and the U.S., including higher transportation costs in Canada, more onerous packaging requirements, disparate provincial regulatory requirements, a smaller Canadian consumer market _ and tariffs.
    
Even though the Conservatives lauded the elimination of some tariffs in last year's budget, the same government also hiked duties on imported goods from more than 70 nations, including China, to help bring down the deficit. That move was estimated to have cost Canadians $330 million a year in higher retail prices.

Leave a comment:

showing all comments · Subscribe to comments
  1. Sonny posted on 02/11/2014 12:36 PM
    Given the weather and the fact the Harper Gov't hasn't been able to ram through the pipelines in favor of the Oil & Gas Corporations. Flaherty won't balance the budget until 2016!
  2. john posted on 02/11/2014 02:26 PM
    good to hear if i wanna buy a tom Clancy (R.I.P. ) novel in the usa . and it is cheaper then in Canada . why not buy it in the usa ?
showing all comments

DON'T MISS

AIRPORT TUNNEL

WATCH: NEWSTALK 1010 contest winner is first through airport tunnel

Joel MacCharles, winner of the NEWSTALK 1010 'Be the First' contest makes history before jet-setting to NYC!

NEWS ALERTS

STAY CONNECTED

Sign up for out Breaking News Alerts and receive up-to-the-minute coverage of the top stories of the day

 
2 0

The Conservative government is poised to crack down on multinational companies that charge Canadian customers more than Americans on everything from books to clothing and appliances.
    
A government official tells The Canadian Press the Tories will promise legislation in Tuesday's budget to stop ``country pricing'' _ when multinational brands set different prices in Canada and the United States.
    
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of the budget's release, says the legislation will address the price gap and empower the country's competition commissioner to enforce the new rules.
    
The government also intends to monitor whether last year's elimination of tariffs on baby clothing and sports  equipment _ some of them as high as 20 per cent _ is being passed onto consumers at the retail level.
    
A recent report by the Retail Council of Canada, which has worked with the government to tackle country pricing, concluded the tariff cuts have resulted in lower prices for consumers.
    
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is expected to chop more tariffs on Tuesday, although the Consumers Association of Canada has expressed skepticism about whether such steps do indeed cut costs.
    
The new initiatives are part of the government's effort to respond to consumer complaints about higher costs, price-gouging and price discrimination, the official said.
    
Flaherty has hinted for months _ including in last fall's throne speech _ that a crackdown on companies taking advantage of the Canada-U.S. price gap would be in the cards.
    
Following the speech, Flaherty said officials in his department were sitting down with major retailers to determine why Canadians are charged higher prices on an array of goods.
    
``There are some companies that look at Canada as a small market, relatively well off, with a large middle class, and willing to pay a little more,'' he said at the time. ``And they'll pay.''
    
While he confessed to being wary of interfering with the free market system, he added: ``There are always persuasive techniques that can be used to nudge people in the right direction.''
    
A Senate finance committee report released last year, however, suggested several complex factors were to blame for price differences between Canada and the U.S., including higher transportation costs in Canada, more onerous packaging requirements, disparate provincial regulatory requirements, a smaller Canadian consumer market _ and tariffs.
    
Even though the Conservatives lauded the elimination of some tariffs in last year's budget, the same government also hiked duties on imported goods from more than 70 nations, including China, to help bring down the deficit. That move was estimated to have cost Canadians $330 million a year in higher retail prices.

Leave a comment:

showing all comments · Subscribe to comments
  1. Sonny posted on 02/11/2014 12:36 PM
    Given the weather and the fact the Harper Gov't hasn't been able to ram through the pipelines in favor of the Oil & Gas Corporations. Flaherty won't balance the budget until 2016!
  2. john posted on 02/11/2014 02:26 PM
    good to hear if i wanna buy a tom Clancy (R.I.P. ) novel in the usa . and it is cheaper then in Canada . why not buy it in the usa ?
showing all comments

Top stories

Yukon coroner Kristen Macdonald has identified the man as Yoichi Kubota of Cambridge, Ont.

Poll

Protesters from Black Lives Matter blocked traffic on the Allen last night to protest police shootings. Was this the best way to make a point?

Voting is restricted to one vote every 24 hours 24 hour(s) VoteResults