StopStickingItToUs Coalition Commends Parliamentary Scrutiny of Credit Card Companies



    
    - Unprecedented number of government inquiries seek justification of fee
    practices -
    

    OTTAWA, April 21 /CNW/ - This week, members of the StopStickingItToUs
Coalition will appear before the Senate Banking Committee in Ottawa on behalf
of more than 200,000 Canadian businesses to expose the skyrocketing fees
merchants pay to accept credit cards and the negative impacts these fees have
on businesses and consumers alike. The Coalition's testimony will also address
dangers posed by the impending introduction of VISA and MasterCard debit
schemes to the Canadian market, which could spell the end of our country's
current low-cost, efficient debit service.
    There has been an unprecedented level of activity on Parliament Hill
around the issue of merchant fees for credit and debit acceptance in recent
months. In addition to an ongoing Senate Banking Committee inquiry on credit
card fees, the Competition Bureau is investigating VISA and MasterCard for
possible "abuse of dominance" and the House of Commons Finance and Industry
Committees are moving forward with hearings focused on merchant fees.
    "It is clear that the concerns of hundreds of thousands of Canadian
businesses and the communities they serve have resonated with parliamentarians
from all parties," says Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council
of Canada. "The stakes are high and Canadians are looking for decisive
government action that will rein-in the runaway fees charged to merchants who
have no choice but to pass along these out-of-control costs to consumers in
the form of higher prices."
    Canada is not the only country with governments focusing attention on the
issue. Renewed efforts by governments in the United States and recent action
in the European Union illustrate a global push to hold credit card companies
to account for their fee practices.
    "We are calling on parliamentarians to act quickly to regulate
interchange fees" says David Wilkes, Senior Vice President, Canadian Council
of Grocery Distributors. "Our government has a chance to show real leadership
by regulating these fees in Canada and putting in place measures that will
help protect businesses and consumers."

    About the StopStickingItToUs Coalition

    The StopStickingItToUs Coalition is a group of Canadian associations, led
by Retail Council of Canada and backed by over 200,000 businesses from
coast-to-coast, that is standing up to the Big Credit Card Companies to put a
stop to skyrocketing fees. Its members include: Retail Council of Canada,
Alberta Liquor Store Association, Canadian Booksellers Association, Canadian
Convenience Stores Association, Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors,
Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, Canadian Jewellers Association,
Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, Hotel Association of Canada,
Ontario Accommodation Association, Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel
Association, Retail B.C, The Canadian Independent Petroleum Marketers
Association, The British Columbia Restaurant and Food Services Association,
The Retail Merchant's Association of Canada (Ontario). Wine Council of
Ontario, Mega Group Inc. Bicycle Trade Association of Canada, Canadian Oil
Heat Association, Conseil québécois du commerce de détail, Camping in Ontario,
Tourism Industry Association of Canada, and the Canadian Association of Chain
Drugstores.

    Québec affiliate members: Association des marchands dépanneurs et
épiciers du Québec, Association des détaillants en alimentation du Québec,
Association des détaillants en matériaux de construction du Québec,
Association des hôteliers du Québec, Conseil des chaînes de restaurants du
Québec, Conseil canadien de la distribution en alimentation-Québec

    About Retail Council of Canada

    Retail Council of Canada (RCC) has been the Voice of Retail in Canada
since 1963. We speak for an industry that touches the daily lives of Canadians
in every corner of the country - by providing jobs, career opportunities, and
by investing in the communities we serve. RCC is a not-for-profit,
industry-funded association representing more than 40,000 store fronts of all
retail formats across Canada, including department, specialty, discount, and
independent stores, and online merchants. RCC is a strong advocate for
retailing in Canada and works with all levels of government and other
stakeholders to support employment growth and career opportunities in retail,
to promote and sustain retail investments in communities from coast-to-coast,
and to enhance consumer choice and industry competitiveness. RCC also provides
its members with a full range of services and programs including education and
training, benchmarking and best practices, networking, advocacy, and industry
information.

    About The Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors

    The Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors(CCGD) is a not-for-profit
organization committed to advancing and promoting the grocery and foodservice
distribution industry in Canada, at both the regional and national level. The
food distribution industry is Canada's second largest commercial sector.
Member sales represent $71.8 billion in retail and $12 billion in foodservice.
Members employ over 428,100 Canadians, and represent over 85% of all grocery
(i.e. food, non-good, non-alcoholic beverages) distribution sales in Canada.





For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact Mark
Beazley, Director, Communications, Retail Council of Canada at (416) 922-0553
ext. 228, or mbeazley@retailcouncil.org; or Krista Pawley, Vice President,
Communications, Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors at (416) 922-6228
ext. 323, email kpawley@ccgd.ca


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