Toronto MPP pushes bill for all-in cost on price tags at stores

Yvan Baker, MPP (Etobicoke Centre) is tabling a bill which will require retailers to show an all-in price for products. Don Mitchell / Global News Radio 640 Toronto

If one Toronto MPP gets his way, the price shoppers see on a product will be the price they pay, without any additional charges.

Etobicoke Centre’s Yvan Baker is looking to table his “What You See Is What You Pay” private member’s bill in the new year which would require retailers to show an all-in price on an item to consumers.

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Much like airline tickets, liquor and gas, the bill would push both brick and mortar and online sellers to disclose taxes and fees like shipping, processing, and others up front before a shopper would perform an exhaustive search for merchandise.

LISTEN: Etobicoke Centre MPP Yvan Baker talks to Global News Radio 640 Toronto about his private member’s bill.

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“We know how terrible it feels when you expect to pay one price for something and make a decision to buy it and then get charged a price much higher,” Baker told Global News Radio 640 Toronto.

“The bill, if passed, would require that the price you are actually charged for a good is the one that is actually displayed at the beginning.”

The MPP says it’s an issue he’s been hearing from members of his constituency for quite a while now. Particularly, when it comes to the purchasing of tickets for concerts and sporting events online.

“You know when you go on there, they’ll quote you a price for a ticket, and you shop around for the right seat the one you can afford….and when you get to the end, there’s actually a number of other charges like a processing fee, convenience fee, facility fee and sometimes even a delivery charge if you want them mailed to you. All of these additional fees come as a surprise and come at the end of a long purchasing process.”

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The idea is not a new one, as some countries like Australia, have competition and consumer laws that make businesses display the total price of a good or service as a single figure including any tax, duty, fee, levy or other additional charges.

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Baker expects the bill to be debated in March and hopes to create enough of a conversation that will motivate the government to simply adopt the bill into law.

The proposed bill includes a one-year phase-in period for retailers.

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