The Consumers Council of Canada is pleased to announce it has been awarded support from the Office of Consumer Affairs, Industry Canada, to research ways consumer groups can play a strong role in achieving trade harmonization that will benefit the country's consumers.
"It's important that consumer groups take part in the process of interprovincial trade reform as effectively and efficiently as possible," said Council President Aubrey LeBlanc. "Our research, devoted to the improvement of consumer representation in a reform effort of national significance, will be among the Council's most important ever. We hope the outcome of the research will reward all Canadians in their roles as both consumers and taxpayers."
Industry Minister James Moore announced the award along with awards for three other consumer-group hosted research projects. In addition to the Council's work, Option consommateurs will examine means of improving Canadians' views on consumer protection safeguards across Canada; Public Interest Advocacy Centre will work with Canadians to determine how a new internal trade agreement could amend the dispute resolution and enforcement regimes to include direct access for consumers; and Union des consommateurs will identify best practices in the European Union and Australia for addressing internal trade barriers and how similar barriers can be broken down in Canada.
The final research reports for these projects are expected in June 2015.
"Eliminating internal trade barriers will create jobs, boost economic growth and lead to more choices for Canadian consumers," said Minister of Industry James Moore. "While I am encouraged by the progress to date, there is still work to be done to strengthen our national economy and global competitiveness. The contribution announced today will support essential work to show how free trade within Canada will directly benefit Canadians and their families."
Bill Huzar, immediate past president of the Consumers Council of Canada, has been named vice-chair of the Consumer and Public Interest Committee (CPIC) of the Standards Council of Canada.
The 17-member CPIC looks at issues related to consumers and the public interest, including items such as health, safety and the environment.
CPIC provides policy advice and strategic recommendations to the Standards Council for advancing consumer and public interest on matters related to standardization, develops short, medium and long-range strategies for maintaining and enhancing consumer and public interest involvement in standardization, identifies and monitors existing and emerging issues in standardization where consumer and public interest input is needed, provide advice on promoting consumer and public interest in standardization, provides effective CPIC representation on other Advisory Committees of the Standards Council as appropriate, and provides policy advice on ISO/COPOLCO matters.
Its member ship includes 4 consumer representatives, 2 representatives of environmental interests, 1 labour representative, 2 representatives from academia, 2 federal government representatives, 1 occupational health and safety representative, representatives of 4 standards development organizations (SDO) and consumer professionals representatives and one representative from industry.
The Consumers Council of Canada has released a research report on the capacity of Canada’s consumer groups to participate in consumer impact assessments in the process of preparing regulatory impact analysis statements.
The federal cabinet directive on streamlining regulations has given rise to a new analysis statement process intended to incorporate, among other things, an assessment of the impact of proposed policies and regulations on consumers.
The research assesses the feasibility of government agencies using consumer organizations to assess consumer impacts, and the capacity of those organizations to provide credible assessments.
The report includes recommendations for government and consumer groups.
Consumers Council of Canada received funding from Industry Canada’s Contributions Program for Non-profit Consumer and Voluntary Organizations. The views expressed in the report are not necessarily those of Industry Canada or of the Government of Canada.