Ottawa Unveils New Legislation To Narrow Canada-U.S. ^Price Gap
The federal government has released new legislation targeted at narrowing the price gap between items sold in Canada and the United States — however, critics believe it will only have minimal to no impact on the price tag of goods.
The Industry Minister introduced the legislation on Tuesday to find out why Americans pay less for goods like clothes, books and electronics.
The legislation would allow the Commissioner of Competition to probe geographic price discrimination. The commissioner will also be able to authorize court documents forcing retailers to disclose details on how they determined their pricing, and to provide evidence justifying their price difference.
The commissioner will then report to the public any findings from such documents.
“The dollar valuation will fluctuate. It’ll go up; it’ll go down. There could certainly well be a time in the future when [the Canadian dollar] will be back at par or above par, and that’s when these challenges are often more acute,” Min. James Moore said.
In 2011, the gap was estimated at 25 per cent.
Today, it’s approximately 10 to 15 per cent.
“Go online and a car manufactured in Ontario costs Canadians $1,500 more. Check the Wal-Mart Canada website and a treadmill is $569 more expensive north of the border,” explains Global National Ottawa Bureau Chief Jacques Bourbeau.
“One of the reasons for the gap is country pricing. That means, some companies charges more in Canada, not because of hiring operating costs, but just because they can,” says Bourbeau.
Should government SHAME companies with big difference in US-Canada prices? — Should they FORCE companies to lower prices? Will this hurt businesses that aren’t able to change prices?