OTTAWA, March 15, 2013 – World Consumer Rights Day is an opportunity to mark the improvements made on behalf of Canadian consumers over the past year and serves as a reminder of the many challenges they still face, according to the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC).
“In the past year, we have seen the initiation of all-in pricing for airline advertising, a proceeding to establish a mandatory code of conduct for wireless service providers by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), and the Competition Bureau’s action demanding that major Canadian wireless companies pay administrative monetary penalties for misleading advertising for premium text messaging abuses, to the benefit of Canadian consumers”, notes Jonathan Bishop, PIAC’s Research Analyst. In addition, PIAC has published reports exploring the consumer interest relating to international data roaming, advertised internet speeds, and future wireless spectrum auctions.
However, many challenges remain in the ongoing campaign to improve the rights of Canadian consumers. The timely and efficient implementation of the anti-spam regulations, the evolving issue of allowing multiple consumer banking arbitration services, lack of progress in the implementation of the report of Task Force for the Payments System Review, and the improving the relationship between consumers and their wireless providers are just a few of current challenges facing the Canadian consumer movement.
“In the year to follow, PIAC intends to continue shining a light on issues that concern Canadians from coast to coast to coast”, says Bishop. PIAC encourages Canadians to become more engaged in public consultation processes over the next year when those opportunities present themselves. “A strong consumer movement is required to educate decision makers and to provide counter-arguments to positions by industry, if those positions are seen to be detrimental to consumers. Consumers can assist themselves by their greater participation in consultation processes”, concluded Bishop.
World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) is an annual occasion for celebration and solidarity within the international consumer movement organized by Consumers International. WCRD was first observed on March 15, 1983, and has since become an important occasion for mobilizing citizen action. Consumers International is the world federation of consumer groups serving as an independent and authoritative global voice for consumers.
PIAC is a non-profit organization that provides legal and research services on behalf of consumer interests, and, in particular, vulnerable consumer interests, concerning the provision of important public services.
For more information please contact:
Jonathan Bishop
Research & Parliamentary Affairs Analyst
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
(613) 562-4002 ext. 23