Consumers Council of Canada presented to the Ontario Legislature’s Standing Justice Committee on June 10 to represent consumers in the debate over Ontario’s proposed changes to class action legislation.
Ontario’s government introduced Bill 161 in early December. That bill included a number of revisions to the Class Proceedings Act (CPA) which had been untouched since 1993. The updates were largely drawn from recommendations provided by the Law Commission of Ontario (LCO), except for a few elements of the Bill that drew sharp criticism from the LCO and has raised the concern of the Council and other groups.
The Council has stated the Bill’s proposed language around “superiority” and “predominance” are contrary to the LCO position, and would have “significant and negative impact on access to justice and the administration of justice.”
Paul Bates (LL.M), who represented the Council at the committee hearing, argued that consumers needed to have access to class action, and that some of the proposed changes would make class action litigation much more complex and lengthy and would impede consumers’ access to justice.
People interested in learning more about the Council’s position on class action reform in Ontario and who wish to support its advocacy for consumers can buy its publication Class Actions and Access to Justice in Ontario. That document is available for purchase through the Council’s online content store.