The Government of Canada introduced the Service Fees Act in 2017 to replace the User Fees Act.
It increases transparency, accountability and predictability regarding service fees charged by the Government of Canada.
All government departments and agencies that charge fees for services are subject to it.
The Service Fees Act mandates that any government entity that charges a fee publish service standards that set out timelines that must be met by the service provider.
Effective April 1, 2021, if a department or agency does not meet the service standard for which a fee is charged, it must return a portion of the fee associated with the transaction (i.e. issue a remission).
Those entitled to a remission will receive it no later than July 1 of the following fiscal year.
Effect of the Consumer Price Index on fees
The Consumer Price Index is a measure of the rate of average price change for goods and services bought by consumers in Canada. It's the most widely used indicator of inflation.
Starting on April 1 of each year, fees for services requested in the current fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) are calculated using the previous year's fees and adjusted based on the Consumer Price Index for the previous year.
The Consumer Price Index adjustment is not applied to low-materiality fees.
These bulletins don't comply with the Service Fees Act, which requires that all fees be paid. Service standards have now been published for all Measurement Canada services.
Because the fees listed in these bulletins didn't include Consumer Price Index adjustments, they weren't consistent with Measurement Canada's current service fees.
As such, they have been repealed and all future service fees and charging practices will comply with the Service Fees Act and the fee schedules listed in the Weights and Measures Regulations and the Electricity and Gas Inspection Regulations.