News Canada

Consumer rights to top Tory agenda: Moore

By Jessica Murphy, Senior Washington Correspondent

James Moore.  (Andre Forget/QMI Agency File Photo)

James Moore. (Andre Forget/QMI Agency File Photo)

OTTAWA - Friendlier skies, better cable packages and cheaper phone bills - the Tories are promising next week's throne speech will have something for every disgruntled Canadian consumer.

Industry Minister James Moore was out over the weekend selling the consumer-friendly mandate the government plans to lay out between now and the next election.

"For example, we don't think it's right for Canadians to have to pay for bundled television channels that they don't watch. We want to unbundle television channels and allow Canadians to pick and pay the specific television channels that they want," he told CTV's Question Period on Sunday.

The feds will also take aim at what they deem unfair airline practices, target high credit card fees and will lower mobile phone roaming costs.

Moore said he's "a free marketer, free enterprise guy" but that Ottawa isn't finding it hard to compile a list of practices that leave consumers frustrated - and it's time for the feds to step in.

NDP consumer protection critic Glenn Thibeault says the Tories are just "shopping for votes" and hoping to shift attention from an unfolding Senate scandal.

He says the New Democrats have been talking consumer affairs for years.

"For five years, I've watched the Conservatives time and time again vote against any type of bill, any type of proposal that we brought forward to help protect consumers," Thibeault said.

"They like to talk, but they don't do the walk. And that's unfortunate because it's Canadian families who are paying more out of pocket for their inaction."

Parliamentarians are back in Ottawa Wednesday following an extended summer break.

 

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