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Small Businesses support Senator Ringuette’s bill to limit credit card acceptance fees

For Immediate Release


October 10, 2014


Small Businesses support Senator Ringuette’s bill to limit credit card acceptance fees



The Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade, and Commerce resumed hearings on Senator Pierrette Ringuette’s bill S-202, An Act to amend the Payment Card Networks Act (credit card acceptance fees).

Canada has some of the highest credit card acceptance fees in the world and cost Canadian retailers and consumers over $5 billion a year. Bill S-202 seeks to place limits on these excessive fees.

Yesterday’s meeting of the committee heard from a number of retailer associations representing various sectors of the Canadian economy. Several of these associations are part of a coalition called The Small Business Matters Coalition, which represents over 90,000 businesses in Canada.

Gary Sands, Vice President of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, noted that small businesses have a competitive imbalance in regards to negotiating with VISA and MasterCard and that “turning aside numbers of customers because they choose to pay by credit card, is simply not a viable business solution, and it is disingenuous for anyone to suggest otherwise.”

Tricia Anderson, President and CEO of the Canadian Independent Petroleum Marketers Association, noted her support for a regulatory approach to high acceptance fees as opposed to the approach of Minister of Finance Joe Oliver; “we find it disconcerting that a “voluntary” approach to reducing credit card fees is being proposed. We believe a regulatory framework is required to ensure fairness and transparency in swipe fees on an ongoing basis, bringing Canada in line with other countries, most of whom enjoy significantly lower swipe fees, to the benefit of merchants and consumers.”

In August, the Small Business Matters Coalition wrote to Minster of Finance to urge the government to take action on reducing acceptance fees through regulation. Minister Oliver has not responded to their letter.

The coalition says this will benefit all Canadians, both consumers and merchants.

The coalition stated in the letter that “our members pledge that the reduction in credit card fees will be to the benefit of consumers and communities across Canada, through improved competitiveness, increased investment, job creation and reduced consumer prices.”

Video and transcript of the committee meeting can be found at;



For more information:


Tim Rosenburgh

Office of Senator Pierrette Ringuette

(613) 943-2248