You will only pay a fee if you’ve overpaid your acct.
IE: Your credit limit is $2000, but you’ve paid $2010 against it. Therefore, if you don’t use it for 360 days, they will debit that $10.
The fact is, Canadians travel out of Canada a lot more often than Americans travel out of the United States, so it’s easier for an American issuer to give up on FX fees than for a Canadian issuer.
For a quick comparison: 30% of Americans have a passport, compared to 70% of Canadians.
It might not feel great to be pigeonholed into buying something you don’t want, even if it costs $0.50, but it’s a necessary evil if you want to save big bucks on your next vacation overseas.