Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Canadian government to crack down on price discrimination against Canadians



The Conservative government plans to crack down on "unjustified cross-border (Canada-U.S.) price discrimination" that results in Canadians paying more for goods.

The federal budget outlined legislation to end "country pricing" where multinational companies set higher prices for goods in Canada than those charged in the United States.

Canadians have grown accustomed to paying higher prices for everything from books, clothing and appliances to tires and auto parts.

Legislation will address the price gap and empower the country's competition commissioner to enforce the new rules, said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

The government has been under pressure from consumers to do something about the long-standing price discrimination.

"There are some companies that look at Canada as a small market, relatively well off, with a large middle class and willing to pay a little more," he said.

A Senate finance committee report said there are several "complex factors" behind the price differences.

These include higher transportation costs across the vast country, the need for English and French wording on items, more onerous packaging requirements, provincial regulatory requirements, a smaller consumer market and tariffs.

Tobacco taxes add $4 to carton of cigarettes

Smokers are paying $4 more for a carton of cigarettes as a result of the federal budget's higher excise taxes on tobacco.

The government also ended the discount on cigarettes sold at duty-free stores by raising taxes there by $6 a carton.

The budget projects a $2.9 billion deficit but with a $3 billion contingency fund.

This will allow the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to make good on a promise to balance the budget next year, with a possible $6 billion surplus, in advance of the next federal election.

The Conservatives plan to achieve the surplus by further cuts to program spending and public service compensation costs.

Facts and figures

Canada's dollar moved higher on Friday to 91.18 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar returned $1.0967 in Canadian funds, before bank exchange fees.

The Bank of Canada's key interest rate is steady at 1 percent while the prime-lending rate remains at 3 percent.

Stock markets are higher, with the Toronto exchange index at 14,049 points and the TSX Venture index 993 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Feb. 12) 3, 12, 16, 20, 28 and 31; bonus 37. (Feb. 8) 2, 5, 16, 36, 41 and 43; bonus 25. Lotto Max: (Feb. 7) 13, 19, 37, 38, 40, 43 and 48; bonus 46.

Regional briefs

• Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne's Liberals were rebuffed in two by-elections to fill vacancies in the Legislature. Wynne told supporters of the minority government the "real decision point" will be in the next general election, expected within a year. The New Democrats took Niagara Falls from the Liberals as Wayne Gates, a city councilor, was elected. The Conservatives held Thornhill, north of Toronto, with the election of optometrist Gila Martow.

• A class-action lawsuit arising from the Lac-Megantic train disaster has been expanded to include the Canadian government. Forty-seven people were killed when an unattended runaway train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in the Quebec community. The suit alleges Transport Canada was "grossly negligent" in its oversight role related to Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway's shipping of hazardous cargoes.

• A treasure trove of fossils has been unearthed in Kootenay National Park in southeastern British Columbia. The discovery of items dating back a half billion years was made by a research team from Canada, the United States and Sweden. It could help further explain the evolution of life, said a report of the finding in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

Jim Fox can be reached at [email protected]

News in brief

• Ford will build the Edge Concept, an all-new utility vehicle, in Canada, which will preserve 2,800 jobs at Ontario's Oakville Assembly Plant. The announcement follows Ford's $700 million investment in the plant for the vehicle that will be exported worldwide. The plant currently makes the Ford Edge and Flex, and Lincoln MKX and MKT. Chrysler also announced it's considering a billion-dollar upgrade at its Windsor, Ontario, plant to build a new minivan.

• Baking giant Grupo Bimbo of Mexico has bought Canada Bread, the country's largest bakery business, for $1.83 billion. Parent company Maple Leaf Foods is selling its bread division that includes Dempsters, Bon Matin and other brands. Grupo Bimbo makes products under such brands as Sara Lee, Mrs. Baird's and Entenmann's in the United States and 18 other countries.

Canadian government to crack down on price discrimination against Canadians 02/14/14 [Last modified: Saturday, February 15, 2014 5:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pleasant dreams: sleep travel site gives high marks to Tampa airport


    TAMPA — Traveling might be considered closer to a nightmare than a dream for many. But that might be different for those who travel through Tampa International Airport. It was ranked the No. 3 overall best airport in North America by Sleeping in Airports, a travel site that tracks the best airports to catch some …

    Tampa International Airport was ranked as the No. 3 best overall airport by travel site Sleeping in Airports. | [Times file photo]
  2. Google parent leads $1B Lyft investment, deepening Uber rift


    SAN FRANCISCO — Google's parent company is throwing its financial support behind ride-hailing service Lyft, deepening its rift with market leader Uber.

    This  file photo shows a smartphone displaying the Lyft app.Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc., is throwing its financial support behind ride-hailing service Lyft, deepening its rift with market leader Uber. [Associated Press, 2016]
  3. Check out what this former Buc has cooking in Buffalo


    Leonard Johnson is thrilled to extend his NFL career in Buffalo this season, but whenever his playing days are over, the former Bucs cornerback is ready for life after football.

    He's actually pretty excited.

    Buffalo Bills cornerback Leonard Johnson catches a pass during an NFL football training camp in Pittsford, N.Y., Saturday, July 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
  4. Editorial: Arrests show construction licensing board's faults


    Ripping off consumers got a little harder in Pinellas County this week after teams of deputies launched a predawn operation and arrested unlicensed contractors. It was a needed crackdown on a problem that appears rampant in Pinellas because the agency charged with overseeing local contractors has no policing …

    Ripping off consumers got a little harder in Pinellas County this week after teams of deputies executed a predawn operation, arresting unlicensed contractors.
  5. Dade City teen arrested after authorities say he pulled fake gun on student


    DADE CITY — A 14-year-old boy faces felony charges after he pulled a fake gun on a Pasco Middle School student near the school Wednesday afternoon, according to authorities.