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Defending Canadian Consumers

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Defending Canadian Consumers

Canadian families work hard to make ends meet, and every dollar counts.

While companies look out for their bottom line, our government is looking out for everyday Canadians.

When Canadians make decisions about how to spend their money, they must be assured of a voice, a choice, and fair treatment.

Capping Roaming Rates

Canadians continue to pay some of the highest wireless rates in the developed world.

For years, Canadians have been gouged by wireless providers on roaming fees: extra fees passed on to the consumer, just to use a cell phone when travelling.

Our Government believes that the rates Canadians pay to roam on their cell phones are simply too high.

The roaming rates Canada’s largest wireless companies can charge their competitors can be up to 10 times the rates they charge their own customers. Those costs are passed along to the consumer. We don’t think that’s right. And this week, we took action to reduce these rates.

Canadians also expect wireless companies to treat consumers fairly and play by the rules. That’s why we also introduced tough new penalties for wireless companies when they break the rules.

While wireless companies will look out for their bottom line, our Government is looking out for everyday Canadians.

Fairness at the pumps

Canadians work hard to make ends meet, and expect their government to have their interests front of mind.

Over the past seven years, our Government has taken action to protect consumers.

The Fairness at the Pumps Act, alongside several other consumer-related measures underway, will improve the bottom line for Canadian families and ensure that they are getting real value for their hard-earned dollar.

This Act will:

  • strengthen consumer protection against inaccurate measuring devices such as gas pumps and scales, as well as unfair retailer practices.
  • require mandatory inspection frequencies for scales, gas pumps and other measuring devices.
  • significantly increase fines for those companies who are found to be unfairly taking advantage of Canadian consumers.

Enhancing broadband networks for rural Canadians

We have also invested to expand access to broadband internet for 218,000 Canadian households that previously did not have it.

Our investments and focus on ensuring all Canadians –especially families living in rural and remote parts of the country – have access to broadband.
Through our efforts almost 99.75% of Canadian households now have access to broadband internet.

While we have made gains, there is much more work to do to reduce the costs and increase the choice for Canadian consumers, while ensuring higher-speed access to more Canadians.

For more Canadians in rural regions of Canada – access to higher speed internet will unlock tremendous economic potential, leading to the creation of new jobs, products and businesses.

We will build on our success and continue working to enhance high-speed broadband networks for rural Canadians.

Give consumers choice in TV package services

Every family, senior and individual faces the annoyance of paying for channels they do not watch.

We believe Canadians should be able to buy only the TV channels they actually want.

Our Government will ensure that Canadians have more choice in building the combinations of channels they prefer, to increase choice and reduce costs, all while protecting Canadian jobs.

Reducing Roaming Costs for Canadians

Although Canadians are among the most digitally connected in the world, we also pay some of the highest wireless rates in the developed world.

We have already taken action to achieve greater competition.

As a result, wireless rates have fallen 20 per cent since 2008.

Canadians will see more choice, lower prices and better service if more competition is injected into the marketplace, for the benefit of consumers.

Our government will continue to advance a policy that ensures at least four competitive wireless companies are in each market.

To that end, we will take steps to reduce roaming costs on networks within Canada.

Our focus on consumer interests will increase competition in the wireless sector and help provide Canadians with more choices and access to the latest technology at better prices.