Canada wants to get rid of junk fees.
There’s nothing more disheartening than finding concert tickets at a low price, then finding out at checkout that your once affordable purchase will be coupled with arbitrary fees that dramatically hike up the price.
However, it looks like purchasing concert tickets might not be as big of a headache in the future, because the federal government is attempting to crack down on these so-called “junk fees.”
The Liberal government unveiled its $491 million budget on Tuesday, which included an intention to work with regulatory agencies, provinces, and territories to reduce junk fees.
However, the announcement led to lots of heads scratching about what exactly the term entails.
Junk fees could include anything like higher telecom roaming charges, event and concert fees, excess baggage fees, and unjustified shipping and freight prices.
We’re creating a new Grocery Rebate to provide support to 11 million Canadians. We’re also going to crack down on junk fees – the unexpected, hidden fees on everyday goods and services. And we’re going to lower credit card transaction fees for small business owners, too.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 28, 2023
Some of the agencies the government could work with include the Competition Bureau, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.
The government is also working towards amending the Competition Act to protect Canadians from these excessive fees.
The announcement follows ongoing criticism centred around Ticketmaster and other ticket re-selling websites, particularly after the Taylor Swift Eras Tour sales fiasco.
The new budget doesn’t mention any specific funding for addressing junk fees, and so far, most of the work is centred around making legislative amendments.
The US is also working towards tackling junk fees. In his State of Union speech earlier this year, President Joe Biden similarly called on Congress to address junk fees that target consumers.
While nothing has been set in stone yet, the potential of seeing your favourite artists at a more affordable rate is definitely exciting.