FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NDP'S GORD JOHNS URGES GOVERNMENT TO ADDRESS CREDIT CARD MERCHANT FEES
OTTAWA - Gord Johns (Courtenay - Alberni), NDP Critic for Small Businesses, urged the federal government to immediately cap credit card merchant fees to a reasonable rate. Canadians pay amongst the highest credit card merchant fees in the world - with only the United States paying more.
"The Liberal government thinks it's acceptable that small businesses in Canada pay three times as much as the rest of the world in credit card merchant fees," said Johns. "These fees raise the price of goods for consumers and prevent small businesses from growing and creating jobs."
Small business has a tremendous impact on Canada's economy. Across the country, 78 per cent of all new jobs are created by small business, and almost one-third of the GDP comes from small and medium enterprises.
In 2013, the Competition Tribunal of Canada ruled that the fees charged by credit card companies were excessive and the tribunal called on the government to regulate the industry. Subsequently, Visa and Mastercard entered into voluntary agreements to reduce their rates for a period of five years. These voluntary agreements have received praise from Finance Minister Morneau.
"Perhaps the Minister of Finance was referring to the banks when he said credit card merchant fees are working because Canadians are still paying amongst the highest rates in the world two years after the reduced fees were introduced," added Johns. "It's clear the Minister and his Liberal government have no intention of bringing fairness and transparency to the payments industry in Canada."
The Retail Council of Canada, Canadian Convenience Stores Association, as well as the Association des marchands dépanneurs et épiciers du Québec (AMDEQ) have all pointed to a reduction in credit card merchant fees as their number one request of the federal government.
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