The Ontario government signalled its intent to update the Consumer Protection Act earlier this year. Consumers Council of Canada made six major recommendations in its paper in response.
Many of the Council’s recommendations parallel those made in recent submissions to the federal government, including Time for A Real Federal Consumer Advocate, published in September.
The Ontario report emphasizes that restoring consumer confidence in the province’s economy must incorporate stronger complaint handling, and the capacity for meaningful consumer representation in consultations and with regulatory authorities. Many responsibilities have been relocated to Delegated Administrative Authorities (DAAs), which do not always adequately incorporate consumer representation.
The Council report recommends a “whole of government” approach to consumer protection that would include a dedicated service to receive consumer complaints and inquiries to reduce the impact of this fragmentation, the introduction of consumer advisory councils for the DAAs, and clearer rules around when DAAs can adopt standards from other jurisdictions by reference into regulations.
Consumers with greater interest in the topic, or who wish to support the Council’s advocacy to protect consumer interests can purchase a copy of the submission through the Council’s online content store.