Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will be extremely brief. We are pleased to have this opportunity to appear here today.
The Consumers' Association of Canada is a 60-year-old independent, not-for-profit, volunteer-based organization with a national office in Ottawa and provincial-territorial representatives in every province. Our mandate is to inform and educate consumers on marketplace issues, advocate for consumers with government and industry, and work to solve marketplace problems in beneficial ways.
In general, we favour a competitive marketplace, with government intervention when it is clear that consumers are at risk or that there is a potential for consumers to be harmed.
With respect to electronic banking, our major concerns relate to privacy and security. We also see dangers for consumers when they conduct inter-jurisdictional transactions, where different laws may apply and enforcement of protective laws may not be feasible. Additionally, we seek assurances that those who cannot or who have difficulty functioning in an electronic environment will not be penalized.
Since we already hear the bells ringing, and we have heard from many others, we will stop at this point. We would be pleased to assist the committee in any way we can by responding to your questions.