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Today on the Hill: Prepaid card protection

Today on the Hill: Prepaid card protectionA person walks through the halls of the centre block on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in a 2010 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA - New regulations are coming into force today to better protect consumers who use prepaid debit cards.

Finance Minister Joe Oliver is set to speak about the regulations today at a news conference a couple of blocks away from Parliament Hill.

Many of the cards carry a range of charges, including additional fees for monthly maintenance, card activation and withdrawing money from a bank machine.

The new regulations, which go into effect Wednesday, will require that fees for all prepaid payment products be disclosed to consumers in an information box on the card's packaging.

The government will also require that other clear and simple consumer information is provided prior to cards being issued.

Issuers will also be prohibited from attaching an expiry date to pre-loaded cards or adding maintenance fees for at least one year after activation.

Here are some other events taking place today in Ottawa:

— Conservative MP James Lunney holds a news conference to discuss Health Canada's management of certain antibiotics and links between their use and the increased risk of a C. difficile infection;

— Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz and deputy governor Tiff Macklem appear at the Senate banking, trade and commerce committee to discuss the state of the domestic and international financial system;

— Junior heritage minister Rick Dykstra will speak at the opening of the exhibition Creatures of Light: Nature's Bioluminescence;

— And Bell Canada officials appear before at the Senate communications committee to discuss the collection and analysis of data from Bell Canada customers for commercial purposes, including targeted advertising.

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