OTTAWA, May 16, 2018 /CNW/ - Canadians deserve a safe marketplace that they can trust. That's why the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, has awarded over $1.6 million in funding to support 19 consumer-interest research and development projects that will contribute to the protection and empowerment of Canadian consumers. Whether it is delving into home energy labels or the challenges and opportunities presented by a cashless marketplace, making sure Canadians are protected and empowered is critical to a strong and effective economy and to Canadians' peace of mind.
Funded research projects will fill knowledge gaps, and the research findings will be made available online. Funded development projects will help consumer advocacy groups carry out research that will protect and empower Canadian consumers.
"As we harness new technologies and a rapidly changing marketplace, we must never lose sight of Canadians. Our government is committed to protecting consumers and Canadians' peace of mind while ensuring a competitive marketplace. When it comes to building a strong economy, competition and consumer rights go hand in hand. I look forward to the findings of this research."
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
- The Government of Canada's Contributions Program for Non-Profit Consumer and Voluntary Organizations has an annual budget of $1.69 million. For 2018–19, the program received 45 proposals, 19 of which were recommended for funding based on merit.
- The Office of Consumer Affairs manages this program on behalf of the Government of Canada.
- The following examples show how recent government-funded consumer research and development projects have served the interests of Canadian consumers:
- The Consumers Council of Canada analyzed the practices of rent-to-own stores and determined that the sources of harm to consumers arise from excessive credit charges, misleading sales practices and confusing offers. This research contributed to consumer financial literacy, consumer education, public consultation and reforms such as those recently implemented in Alberta.
- Consumer interest groups are actively engaged in Government of Canada policy consultations to better inform and empower consumers in the Canadian marketplace. The Automobile Protection Association's involvement in Bill S-2, the Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians Act, ultimately served to make roads safer and better protect all Canadians.
- The Union des consommateurs studied gaps in protection for consumers facing debt issues and needing to enter into debt settlement and financial recovery arrangements. The research findings provided useful evidence and insight on how to better protect and educate Canadian consumers facing this type of hardship.
To view research projects that received funding under this contribution program in the past, visit the Consumer Policy Research Database.
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SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
For further information: Karl Sasseville, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, 343-291-2500; Media Relations, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, 343-291-1777, firstname.lastname@example.org