Consumers Council of Canada works to increase inclusion and opportunities for consumers to be represented in their governments and in the regulated economy. It promotes innovative and modern consumer protection laws and compliance programs. Its ability to make progress towards these goals depends on operating a strong, viable, research-based national consumer organization.
The Council has represented consumers in:
- legislative processes
- regulatory hearings
- advisory processes and committees of federal and provincial government departments and regulatory organizations and agencies
- in governance of consumer dispute resolution organizations
- in domestic and international standards development and priority setting
The Council has provided consumer perspective research and advocacy since 1994, dealing with wide-ranging subject matter.
Some Recent Achievements for Consumers
- Helped achieve a Supreme Court of Canada ruling that advances the legal framework protecting Canadians from unconscionable contract terms.
- Prompted more muscular consumer protection enforcement by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, which finally named, shamed and fined a Canadian Schedule I bank.
- Demonstrated the need for the Ontario government to implement structural and governance reforms in the regulation of the home building industry.
- Represented consumers on the Treasury Board of Canada’s External Advisory Committee on Regulatory Competitiveness, which advised Treasury Board on how to (1) improve regulatory competitiveness in Canada while protecting health, security, safety and environmental standards and (2) support the modernization of Canada’s regulatory system to encourage investment and innovation.
- Drew the federal government’s attention to consumers’ dissatisfaction with government complaint handling, which led the prime minister to mandate three federal ministers to work towards creating a Canadian Consumer Advocate.
Current Efforts to Strengthen Consumer Representation
The Council is:
- Pushing for an expanded role for the federal government’s proposed Canadian Consumer Advocate, to include increasing the capacity of independent consumer groups to represent consumers in formal processes.
- Promoting expanded funding from the federal and provincial levels of government and their agencies and from self-regulatory organizations to build meaningful consumer and civil society representation in Canada’s public processes.