The NDP's Throne Speech

Credit cards, cell phones and an air passengers bill of rights

The Throne Speech will apparently include an airing of consumer grievances.

A Conservative source says the fall policy agenda that will be unveiled in the Throne Speech when Parliament reconvenes next month is likely to contain several initiatives aimed at appealing to consumers angry at poor airline service, perceived price gouging by wireless firms and finance companies that use complicated language to bamboozle customers. Specific initiatives are said to include an airline passenger bill of rights, measures to limit cellphone price disparities between Canada and the U.S. and a new financial consumer code.

The NDP would probably agree that fussing about cell phones and credit cards and such is good politics. Indeed, the NDP’s 2011 platform included a commitment to “oblige lenders to provide clearer, easy-to-understand disclosure of the real costs of credit cards, store cards and payday loans.”

As for an air passenger bill of rights, former NDP MP Jim Maloway had proposal before the last Parliament and NDP MP Jose Nunez-Melo sponsored a proposal in this Parliament. Alas, Mr. Nunez-Melo’s bill was defeated by the Conservatives just this past March.

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