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Senator tables credit card motion

IDNUMBER 200901290021
PUBLICATION: Times & Transcript (Moncton)
DATE: 2009.01.29
SECTION: News;News
COPYRIGHT: © 2009 Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Senator tables credit card motion

For the second time, New Brunswick Senator Pierrette Ringuette yesterday tabled a motion in the Senate asking the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce be authorized to examine and report on the credit and debit card systems in Canada and their relative rates and fees, in particular for businesses and consumers.

Ringuette said the proposed investigation would endeavour to expose the impact of rates and fees on businesses and consumers -- focusing on rising interchange rates and interest rates. Interchange rates are the percentage of the total purchase price that businesses pay in order to provide credit card services to their customers -- and they have risen in 2008.

"Since December, I've received feedback and encouragement from Canadians, increasing my determination to get the Senate to move forward," Ringuette said in a news release yesterday. "Make no mistake; Canadians are furious at sky- high interest rates charged by banks and credit card companies,"

In her speech, she highlighted that facing a difficult financial situation, some Canadians will depend more on credit and that given the current state of our economy, consumers need to pay less interest rates to sustain their purchasing power. That is why she strongly believes that the Senate should investigate and report on the credit and debit card systems in Canada. She argues that the government must establish regulations and oversight to ensure transparency into credit and debit card rates.

This is the Senator's second attempt since Parliament was prorogued last month. She said the Senate and Canadians have lost two precious months of debate and work on this and other important matters.