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Sky/Fire - Nov #1
2014-03-22 at 17:20

Lowering costs

MP Glenn Thibault (NDP, Sudbury), the Opposition critic for Consumer Affairs, Small Business and Tourism leads a town hall meeting at the Brodie Street Resource Library on Saturday.
Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
MP Glenn Thibault (NDP, Sudbury), the Opposition critic for Consumer Affairs, Small Business and Tourism leads a town hall meeting at the Brodie Street Resource Library on Saturday.
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By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com

There needs to be more financial protection for Canadians’ pocketbooks, says the federal NDP’s critic for Consumer Affairs, Small Business and Tourism.

MP Glenn Thibeault (NDP, Sudbury) made a stop in Thunder Bay on his cross-Canada Affordability Tour, holding a town hall meeting at the Brodie Street Resource Library on Saturday.

Throughout his travels across the country and interactions with Canadians Thibeault has found there is a desire to lower every day costs in which Canadians incur.

“Between gas prices and ATM fees people get very excited about talking about those things,” Thibeault said.

“It’s a cost to them they’re experiencing on a day to day basis. On average, when Canadians are spending over $200 just to get their money out of a bank machine, it’s an issue for them.”

The NDP has proposed cutting ATM fees to 50 cents per transaction. Thibeault said that each transaction costs the financial institution 36 cents, meaning they will still be making a profit.

MP John Rafferty (Thunder Bay-Rainy River) accompanied Thibeault for the meeting in the city as well as a similar one held in Fort Frances on Friday.

Specifically addressing the banks and ATM fees, Rafferty said it is doesn’t feel right to have to pay to access your own money.

“There’s a lot of money leaving a consumer’s pocket that should be staying there,” he said.

To try to put a cap on gas prices they are proposing to create an oil and gas ombudsman that would be charged with monitoring the industry and addressing allegations of collusion in regards to setting of prices.

Thibeault also took issue with the switch by many companies to begin charging customers to receive paper bills. He says they directly target seniors and those wary of using the internet for finances.

Depending on the number of bills, the cost of paper bills could be in the hundreds of dollars per year, he said.

However, the appetite for discussion seemed smaller in the city than what Thibeault has encountered in other sessions.

There was only one person in attendance for the first half hour, with the crowd growing to four people 45 minutes after the scheduled start.

Despite the lack of an audience, he is adamant that Canadians are genuinely concerned about the extra costs.

“When you talk to someone at the door about issues, these are the issues that are really driving them, especially when they want to talk about the next federal election,” Thibeault said.


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Comments

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over60 says:
Would have been nice to know about the meeting. How was it advertised?
3/22/2014 6:39:31 PM
Ed itw says:
Hey Glenn how about working on cutting the biggest drain on consumer dollars! Its called the government.
3/22/2014 8:37:00 PM
nvjgu says:
Oh, more savings. My hydro went from 165 to 300, I got the letter couple days ago. Food is crazy, taxes going up, water up, cable up, gas up an what ever else, and there talking about ATM fees being too high, joke.
3/22/2014 8:46:52 PM
Shane Caker says:
How do I get a job like this? Travelling around the province telling a few lost souls what everybody already knows, and getting paid very well for it.
3/22/2014 8:48:39 PM
pc says:
Don't use ATM's. Go to a machine that is your bank of choice. Or get cash back when you purchase something.
I would much rather they focus on jobs and the economy. I can deal with banks no problem but when there are no jobs then people don't have money so why worry about the bank fees?
Carbon taxes, gas taxes, unions pay contracts for public works, price of energy. These things I cannot change but I can change my way of banking.
So do the job you were put into the gov. to do and let us have the jobs and money to worry about the bank fees.
3/22/2014 9:47:00 PM
reese says:
Interest in Thunder Bay is not that great Rydens is close enough to keep costs down
I have heard of people on a fixed income making 2 trips a week
3/22/2014 10:50:28 PM
ring of fire dude says:
They can argue about lowering bank fees and whatever else , in the end someone else will try to pick your savings right out of your pockets . Much like what City council will be doing in the next few years with their extravagant spending habits .
3/22/2014 11:13:14 PM
sky high says:
When you have a lousy sleep, do you blame it on Hobbs and the rest of city council?
3/23/2014 2:11:56 PM
Just Sayin' says:
Sure, save us $200 on ATM fees so your Gov't can grab that extra money from us in some sort of tax. We need to start crushing unions and remove Gov't jobs. I pitched a solution that would save the Gov't $15 million and increase quality of service. Their concern is what the people in those jobs will do...Well, assign them elsewhere to increase efficiency. People in Gov't it seems like their job is to max out their budget + 3% every year.
3/23/2014 12:49:03 PM
hotchoc says:
I knew this event was being held. I could not have been alone.

Four people ultimately showed but the NDP and our MP were still able to get the story out and get great coverage only is it really a story. Four people showed up.

Our MP does a fantastic job of telling everyone what is wrong with the country. But he saves his best work for telling us all how hard he is working. The man who campaigned on improving pension plans for Canadians, who only improved the pension plans of himself and Mr. Hyer.

He continues to howl at the moon but he achieves nothing for his constituents.

I must acknowledge that John is a big supporter of the forest industry. It seems every second week there is another brochure telling us about how hard he is working. Six years and a pension for life. Good gig John.
3/24/2014 12:00:47 PM
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