Thursday, November 19, 2009

Conservative policy: Pretending to protect consumers.

The Conservative government is assuring itself of ample support from people associated with the credit card industry. While making motions as if to ensure consumer protection at the same time they are assuring the industry that there the code of conduct will not be enforced. This article is from this site. There is no mention of what Ignatieff had to say on the issue.

Voluntary code of conduct for credit and debit won’t protect consumers

OTTAWA – Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty today once again revealed the Harper Conservatives’ disregard for consumers with his announcement of a voluntary code of conduct for Canada’s credit- and debit-card industries.

“Why is this government hesitating to introduce legislation that would guarantee consumers are protected?” asked New Democrat Consumer Protection critic Glenn Thibeault (Sudbury). “These delays will only make it that much harder to hold these companies to account since once the new debit networks are active, it will be a much greater challenge to rein them in.”

The proposed Code of Conduct will be circulated for a 60-day comment period. During that time, stakeholders have been asked to submit their views on how best to monitor compliance within the proposed Code.

According to research conducted by consumer advocacy group Option Consommateurs, voluntary codes do not serve the best interests of consumers.

“Why hasn’t this government learned from past experiences, from failed voluntary codes of the past?” said Thibeault. “This shows the government once again is currying favour with big businesses rather than taking a hard stance that is in the best interests of consumers.”

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