Rosann Wowchuk

Rosann Wowchuk

Following input from Manitobans, consumer organizations and business, there will be no change to provincial legislation prohibiting expiry dates and fees on most gift cards, Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk announced today. 

“The mandatory review of Manitoba’s gift card regulation has been completed and it has been determined that no changes are needed to the legislation at this time,” said Wowchuk. “There will be another review in three years.”

Since Manitoba brought in the regulation, several other provincial jurisdictions have introduced their own gift card requirements. The commitment to a further review will allow government to monitor and compare Manitoba’s legislation to other jurisdictions.

Another review in three years will provide an opportunity to identify and explore opportunities to harmonize requirements between jurisdictions while still maintaining high levels of consumer protection, said Wowchuk.

In November 2007, the Manitoba government made changes to the Consumer Protection Act to better protect consumers when purchasing gift cards and certificates. The regulation on gift cards and certificates contains a requirement the changes be reviewed within 18 months of their effective date.

The regulation prohibits:

– a supplier from charging a fee for a gift card except in limited circumstances, such as to customize it or to replace a lost or stolen card, or if the card can be used to purchase goods or services at multiple unaffiliated sellers and has been inactive for 12 months; and

– expiry dates, except if the card is for a specific good or service or the card was issued at no cost.

The regulation also requires the supplier to ensure that information on the use of the card is clearly communicated to the card holder.