Winnipeg, Manitoba — Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the Government’s intention to help provide Canadians with safe, reliable and low-cost services to transfer money to family and friends outside of the country. He was joined by Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development) and Member of Parliament for Portage-Lisgar.
These transfers, known as remittances, represent a major source of income for millions of people around the world, and for the poorest and most vulnerable, support a sustainable path out of poverty. The average cost of sending remittances from Canada is currently above both the G-7 and global averages.
To help reduce the costs of remittance services, the Government will launch a remittance price comparison website focused on key remittance destinations for Canadians. The website will help users compare services and fees offered by different service providers.
As a complement to the price comparison website, the Government will also collect statistics with a view to better assessing the scale of remittance flows from Canada and understanding the needs of Canadian remitters.
The Government will also consult with financial institutions to evaluate possible opportunities that can reduce remittance costs.
– According to World Bank estimates, remittance flows to developing countries are expected to reach U.S. $440 billion in 2015. Canada ranks among the ten largest outbound markets in the world, with remittance flows totalling an estimated U.S. $23.1 billion transferred in 2014. It is also one of the top remittance sending countries on a per capita basis.
– At the Brisbane Summit in November 2014, the G-20 re-committed to reducing the global average cost of sending remittances to five per cent of the amount sent.
“Our Government understands that many Canadians need and want to send money to family and friends outside the country. We are proud to support Canadian generosity by ensuring that these transfers can be sent in a manner that is safe and less expensive.”
– Prime Minister Stephen Harper