An Act to amend the Payment Card Networks Act (credit card acceptance fees)

Sponsor

Linda Lapointe  Liberal

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Second reading (House), as of Feb. 26, 2016

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-236.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Payment Card Networks Act to confer on the Governor in Council the power to set a limit on the credit card acceptance fees that a payment card network operator may charge a merchant.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Consumer ProtectionAdjournment Proceedings

April 5th, 2017 / 8:30 p.m.
See context

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak today about the dynamic, entrepreneurial culture we enjoy here in Canada. Small business is the real economic driver in our country. More than three-quarters of all new jobs across this land are created by small business. In fact, more than one-third of the GDP in our country comes from small business. One would think that with that kind of economic impact on our country, the government would listen to small business.

Small business owners have been asking the government to reduce and regulate credit card merchant fees. Why? It is because credit card merchant fees in Canada are among the highest in the world. Only the United States pays more. Other countries, such as Australia and the U.K., have regulated credit card merchant fees because they recognize that small business needs government support.

In 2013 the Competition Tribunal of Canada ruled that the fees charged by credit card companies were excessive, and the tribunal called on the government to regulate the industry. What is the government doing? The Liberal member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles introduced a private member's bill that would empower the Minister of Finance to limit credit card merchant fees, but the government keeps delaying debate on the bill. In fact, it is now eight times that debate on Bill C-236 has moved.

When I raised this issue in question period, the Minister of Finance said: “The previous government put in place an agreement with the credit card companies that we have reviewed. It appears to be working.” It is clear from his response that the minister and his Liberal government have no intention of bringing fairness and transparency to the payments industry in Canada.

Each month, small business owners review their credit card statements from the bank to see how much money they paid the bank for credit card transactions. Meanwhile, banks are enjoying record profits. This March the Bank of Montreal said it had made about $1.5 billion in the first quarter. Royal Bank profit is up 24%, at $3 billion, and CIBC profits were up 13%. Banks also compound the impact of merchant fees by relentlessly pushing consumers to use credit cards for their everyday purchases, enticing consumers with offers of double and triple reward points. Perhaps the Minister of Finance was referring to the banks when he said credit card merchant fees are working.

These merchant fees raise the price of goods for consumers and prevent small businesses from growing and creating jobs. Instead of paying these exorbitant fees, small business owners could and would use that money to pay higher wages and invest in innovation and recapitalization. The evidence is clear: credit card merchant fees are too high in Canada.

I urge the government to immediately move to cap credit card merchant fees to a reasonable rate. We must protect our small retailers. I will continue to press the government to live up to that responsibility.

February 16th, 2017 / 3:45 p.m.
See context

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

You talked about consulting businesses. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has over 109,000 members. They rank it number one, lowering small business taxes. It was a promise made by this government. The government hasn't honoured the promise.

I knocked on the doors of over 300 businesses in my riding, with over 70 volunteers, and it was number one in my riding too. I just want you to take note of that.

Another significant cost of doing business is, of course, credit card merchant fees. It's an issue that the NDP has been raising for years. There are some clear, concrete actions the government can take to help lower these costs and make them more predictable. Of course, our colleague Madame Lapointe has Bill C-236 on this issue. I think it's been moved 10 times. Hopefully the House will eventually debate this. With CETA coming on board, we know that some of our counterparts in Europe have rates as low as a fifth of what we have here in Canada.

I'm wondering what action the government is prepared to take on credit card merchant fees.

National Anthem ActPrivate Members' Business

May 31st, 2016 / 6:15 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Madam Speaker, I am very proud to rise today to speak to bill C-210, an act to amend the National Anthem Act regarding gender. The bill proposes replacing the words “thy sons” in the English version of the national anthem, with the words “all of us”, in order to make it gender neutral.

Before I continue, I would like to explain why I really wanted to discuss this important bill today. Originally, according to the Order Paper, today I was supposed to introduce my bill, Bill C-236, regarding credit card acceptance fees for Canadian businesses. Instead, my bill will be introduced for second reading on September 19, 2016.

It was really a no-brainer for me to give up my place for my colleague, the member for Ottawa—Vanier, as he courageously fights Lou Gherig's disease.

During the first hour of debate on Bill C-210, I was really disappointed by the lack of empathy shown by our colleagues in the official opposition, who chose not to drop the debate and instead to force a second hour of debate for clearly political reasons.

There are times when we must set politics aside and show some humanity, compassion, and openness.

The sponsor of the bill, the hon. member for Ottawa—Vanier, has spent his entire career working tirelessly to promote justice for all, and I would like to highlight some of his remarkable achievements. His determination to introduce this bill yet again is just one example of his steadfast commitment to fairness.

A staunch defender of human rights and strong advocate for official languages, he inspires every one of us. I first met my colleague from Ottawa—Vanier when I became a member of the Standing Committee on Official Languages, and I had the great fortune to work alongside him. The status of official languages is an issue that matters very much to me too as the member for the Quebec riding of Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.

My colleague elucidated the reasons that justify the change, which I wholeheartedly support. There must be no gender bias in our national anthem. This is a change we need and want because, yes, esteemed colleagues, it is 2016.

This bill holds personal meaning for me as the mother of four children, two boys and two girls. My children are the reason I became involved in politics. This is a dream I have always had for our country and my family. I want my girls to have the same opportunity to achieve their full potential as my boys.

In my opinion, the words in all thy sons command may have reflected Canadian society in 1913, but our society has evolved considerably in the past century.

When the lyrics of our national anthem were written, women could not vote for or against a bill. In fact, they could not vote at all. Before 1929, they were not considered persons. It is essential to modernize the words of our national anthem to reflect the social progress made by Canadian men and women. Again, this is 2016.

For decades, the Government of Canada has been committed to promoting gender equality here at home and abroad. Many bills have been introduced to recognize the contribution of women who, alone or in groups, contributed to making Canada the strong, creative, and inclusive country that it is today.

I am not saying that we have achieved perfect gender equality in Canada, but we have quite certainly improved things. Our government remains determined to build a country where our boys and girls will be equal participants in all aspects of society.

Allow me to mention some of the measures taken by the Government of Canada to recognize the vital role played by the women who contributed to building our Canada of today.

In budget 2016, our government announced investments that will increase capacity at Status of Women Canada. In fact, a $23.3-million investment over five years beginning in 2016-17 will support local organizations working in gender equality and women's issues. These new funds will also support the creation of a dedicated research and evaluation unit within the agency to provide evidence-based, innovative research on women's issues.

This year, we will be proudly celebrating the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote in Manitoba. This event gives us another opportunity to highlight the remarkable achievements of activists who have fought for women's equality and gender equality.

Canada's commitment to promoting gender equality and women's rights is central to our foreign policy and makes us proud. The Minister of Status of Women announced in March 2016 before the UN Commission on the Status of Women that Canada is running for a seat on the commission for the 2017-21 term. This would allow our country to play an even greater role in creating a better future for women and girls in Canada and around the world.

The amendment that my hon. colleague is proposing would change only two words, but this small change would be a significant gesture that would ensure that women are no longer excluded from our national anthem. That is why it is important for me to allow my colleague to take my place so that he can present his bill, which is so important to him.

As we prepare to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, our support for Bill C-210 would give us an opportunity to ensure that this important national symbol continues to reflect our values and inspire pride and a sense of belonging in all Canadians. In 2017, at Canada's 150th birthday celebrations, I hope to hear a national anthem that reflects Canada's modern reality.

In closing, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for introducing this bill. By supporting it, we will send a clear message to Canadians and the entire world that we stand and will continue to stand for gender equality and that we value the significant contributions that women have made and continue to make to our country. It will serve as yet another example of the government’s resolve to promote the equality of all Canadians.

My dear colleague from Ottawa—Vanier, I thank you on behalf of my two sons and my two daughters.