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The Globe and Mail

With the loonie at par, is it fair to charge Canadians higher prices?

A Canadian dollar coin, or loonie, and an American dollar are balanced on a scale.

Jacques Boissinot/THE CANADIAN PRESS

On Wednesday, a Senate committee studying price disparities will issue its report on why the discrepancies are prevalent on the same products in the U.S. and Canada -- and what needs to be done about it. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty asked the committee to study the matter in 2011 after mounting evidence of price gaps despite the Canadian dollar being at or above parity with the greenback.

Retailers say that their multinational suppliers are a key culprit for the price disparities, charging domestic retailers considerably more for the same product than they do U.S. merchants. Other reasons for the gap, they say, are high Canadian import tariffs and a more costly distribution system here.

But the disparities are pinching retailers in this country: After Ottawa loosened its duty-free rules last June, Canadians began to flock across the border in record numbers: Overnight travel to the United States hit 0.95 million in September, the highest number since Statistics Canada began record-keeping in 1972.

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The Globe and Mail wants to know what readers think about being charged more than Americans for the same products. Fill out the form below and tell us which products are costing you more. We'll use the best responses in our upcoming coverage of the Senate committee report, so please include your full name, city and province.

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