Canadian Pizza Magazine

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Bill would allow capping of credit card fees


February 25, 2016
By Canadian Pizza

Pointe-Claire, Que. – A significant milestone was reached today by the introduction of a Private Members’ Bill by Linda Lapointe, Liberal MP for Rivière-des-Milles-Îles, Que.

Bill C-236, An Act to amend the Payment Card Network Act (acceptance fee for a credit card) is being applauded by the Quebec Convenience Stores Association and its 6,400 Quebec c-stores that are each paying, on average, $36,000 per year in credit card fees, the equivalent of all their annual profits, the Canadian Convenience Stores Association said in a news release.

Lapointe’s Private Members’ Bill, if passed, would allow the federal government to set a limit on the percentage of credit card transaction fees or “interchange fees.” In Canada, they are among the highest in the world at 1.5 to four per cent depending on the card used, the release said.

If these rates were capped to 0.30 per cent, as is the case now in 28 European countries since last December, the federal government would eliminate $6 billion in costs in the economy, including $750 million for the 25,000 convenience stores in Canada. This amount equals the entire payroll of the 55,000 Quebec convenience stores employees.

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“Canada is ripe for a regulatory cap on credit card transaction fees. The Trudeau government can’t find a better proposal to revive the economy without dipping into taxpayers’ pockets or widen the deficit,” said Michel Gadbois, QCSA president, in the release. “This annual windfall would both create jobs and reduce retail prices for Canadian families.”

“It is high time to move forward with a regulatory cap on credit card transaction fees since nothing prevents it now. We congratulate Ms. Lapointe for her initiative and urge MPs of all parties to support her private Bill so that we can accelerate the process and introduce the measure as soon as possible,” Gadbois said.