A recent post detailed the Canadian retail legislation imposed upon the country’s five most populous provinces—Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec—that pertained to the fees and expiration dates associated with gift cards. This article will address the Canadian retail compliance rules in the other provinces and territories. As with any legislation, you should regularly check for updates to these rules.
According to the Retail Council of Canada, New Brunswick does not generally allow gift card fees and expiry dates. However, cards issued or sold for a charitable purpose, a promotional purpose or a specific good or service are permitted to expire. With regard to fees, suppliers can apply these to cards sold for charitable or promotional purposes, as well as to replace lost or stolen cards and customize cards. For multi-vendor gift cards, which can be used at multiple unaffiliated sellers and are commonly referred to as “mall cards,” dormancy fees of not more than $2.50 per month can be applied 15 months after purchase.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador does not yet have legislation in place to define gift cards, eliminate expiry dates, prohibit fees or require retailers to provide certain information to consumers.
Like retailers in Newfoundland and Labrador, retailers in the Northwest Territories currently do not have to abide by any provincial gift card legislation, as this is not yet in existence.
Gift cards issued or sold for charitable or promotional purposes are permitted to expire. Gift cards sold for specific goods or services, also known as “experience cards,” are only allowed to expire if they were issued after the date the current provincial regulations came into effect—February 1, 2010. In terms of fees, these are permitted for card replacement and customization, as well as those sold for charitable or promotional purposes. This province does not make an allowance for dormancy fees.
Nunavut does not yet have gift card legislation in place.
Prince Edward Island
On PEI, charitable, promotional and experience gift cards can come with both expiry dates and administration fees, and suppliers can also charge for customization and replacement. Phone cards, pre-paid bank cards and credit card-branded cards are not covered by the provincial legislation that went into effect on September 1, 2010, and fall under federal jurisdiction.
In Saskatchewan, gift cards or certificates may expire or come with fees if they are issued for charitable purposes or the consumer has provided nothing of value for them.
The Yukon does not yet have gift card legislation in place.
||In order to maintain Canadian retail compliance, businesses must follow gift card legislation that varies between provinces and territories.