Government ready to make airfares transparent

What’s in a clause? Well if it is Clause 27 on the Act to Amend the Canadian Transportation Act and The Railway Safety Act and to Make Consequential Amendments to Other Acts, then quite a lot actually. Clause 27 contains provisions that require the Canadian Transportation Agency to develop regulations governing airfare advertising in Canada. However, when it was being debated back in 2007, that clause generated a great deal of debate as the bill went through the parliamentary process. As a result, the Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications added clause 64 to the bill, providing that the airfare advertising clause would come into force separately on a day fixed by Order of the Governor in Council. Clause 64 subsequently became part of the bill that received Royal Assent. Well that day has come and the Canadian government is now moving ahead with regulations that will require Canadian air carriers to include all fees and taxes in their advertised prices. The announcement was made by the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport), and Pierre Poilievre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in Ottawa today (Dec. 16, 2011). “Our government is committed to enhancing consumer protection while promoting fair competition by ensuring greater transparency of advertised airfares for Canadian travellers,” said Minister Fletcher. “This will allow consumers to easily determine the full cost of airfares in order to make informed choices.” The Canadian Transportation Agency will begin the process of drafting regulations, including consultations with stakeholders. The regulatory process is expected to take approximately one year. Both the European Union and the United States already have regulations relating to airline advertising in place; and on Jan. 24, 2012, the U.S. will further strengthen its rules, with regulations requiring all-in airfare advertising.