Mr. Speaker, I am calling on the government to deal with the credit card crisis facing Canadians.
During the past year, Canada's financial institutions, together with Visa and MasterCard, have significantly raised the interchange fees charged to all Canadian businesses. These fees, which are now the second highest in the developed world, are passed on to Canadian consumers, leading to higher costs for everything.
The credit card industry has burdened all Canadians with high interest rates, hidden fees, charges and double charges, with no transparency as to how these fees and charges are imposed or calculated.
To add to the misery that all Canadians are experiencing around this issue, Visa and MasterCard are now entering the Canadian debit card business. The charge per transaction is expected to increase five-fold and, again, this will be an additional burden on Canadian consumers.
What we have in the Canadian credit card industry right now is one big unregulated jungle, and the big losers are Canadians. The issue cries out for government oversight and I urge the minister to take action now.