Ottawa, ON - Larry Maguire, Member of Parliament for Brandon-Souris applauded the new legislation introduced today to help ensure that Canadians are not charged higher prices on goods than Americans simply because of where they live.
Maguire said, "This unexplained difference between Canadian and American prices for the exact same product is a frustrating and all-too-familiar reality for any Canadian who has ever shopped online or travelled to the United States. Canadians shouldn't be charged higher prices than Americans simply because of where they live. The manipulation of prices on identical goods for sale in Canada and the U.S. places an unfair burden on Canadians."
It is well documented that Canadian consumers pay more than their American counterparts for identical goods. Statistics Canada estimates for 2011 revealed that Canadian prices were about 25 percent more than U.S. prices for many goods. More recent private sector estimates suggest that price differences remain high.
The Price Transparency Act will help tackle the practice of geographic price discrimination, one of the key contributors to the Canada-U.S. price gap. Today's announcement provides the Commissioner of Competition with the tools necessary to investigate alleged cases of price discrimination and to publicly report situations where consumers are unfairly targeted with higher prices.
The Commissioner will be authorized to seek court orders to compel the production of evidence to expose discriminatory pricing practices that are not justified by higher costs in Canada and to publicly report to consumers on the findings.
Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada said, "the Retail Council of Canada and its 45,000 merchants have been strong and consistent advocates for addressing the root causes of unjustified consumer price discrepancies between Canada and the U.S. We support today's announcement by Minister Moore and believe that the Price Transparency Act goes a long way in shedding light on geographical price discrimination and on the true costs of doing business in Canada. This bill is an important step toward enabling Canadian retailers to compete on a level playing field and offer their consumers the best possible prices."