Don Mercer, president of the Consumers Council of Canada, has been made a member of the Finance Canada Payments Consultative Committee – known as "Finpay" – for the next two years.
Finpay is a consultative committee made up of public- and private- sector stakeholders who meet regularly with officials of Canada's Department of Finance to discuss public policy related to payments. This membership includes representatives of the financial industry, merchant and consumer associations, payment service providers, government and acquirers.
Currently the committee is focused on payment issues such as the development of a new oversight framework for retail payments and the modernization of Canada's core clearing and settlement payment systems.
Consumers Council of Canada President Don Mercer has been named as a member of Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's External Advisory Committee on Regulatory Competitiveness.
The committee, announced in the Government of Canada's Fall Economic Statement 2018 and Budget 2019, brings together business leaders, academics and consumer representatives from across Canada. The committee's role is to advise the government on regulatory competitiveness and innovation, while ensuring Canadians' health, security and safety and protecting the environment.
"With regulatory modernization, the devil is always in the details," said Joyce Murray, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government, in announcing formation of the committee. "Tapping into the expertise of business, academia and consumer protection experts just makes sense. I look forward to ongoing recommendations of the External Advisory Committee on Regulatory Competitiveness to help Canadian businesses be more competitive and innovative."
In addition to serving as the Council's president, Mercer has been involved in a variety of roles with the Council since he retired after a long career in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver with Competition Bureau Canada, which administers the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textiles Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act. These laws, that promote market competition and fair trading practices by regulating anti-competitive conduct, setting product and quality standards, and prohibiting fraud and misrepresentation, are intended by Parliament to foster consumer protection and healthy competition and trust in the marketplace.
He is also an active member of the Payments Canada Stakeholder Advisory Council, an Advisory Council mandated by the federal law governing Payments Canada, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada Consumer Protection Advisory Committee and has been recently appointed to Finance Canada's Payments Consultative Committee (FinPay).
The Consumers Council of Canada's Annual Report of Activities 2017-18 highlighted the year gone by as unfortunately one in which a troubling number of prominent Canadian companies were found apparently "breaking bad" by news media and regulators – everything from sharp sales practices to price fixing came to light.
The report was received by the Council's members at the organization's annual general meeting held June 28, 2018. The annual general meeting also elected the Council's new board of directors for 2018-19.
"In some ways, 2017-18 was one of the best of years, with much action across Canada to address consumer problems," said Council President Don Mercer, who was re-elected to lead the Council for the year ahead. "But new found interest in consumer protections resulted from some of the best brand names in Canadian business ‘breaking bad’, sullied by tawdry marketplace conduct. ‘Buyer beware’ became an urgent call to action."
The Council's membership thanked outgoing board members Dolly Gerrior, Andrea Rosen and Sally Southey for their service to the Council, especially noting Gerrior's seven consecutive years of service and even longer-term commitment as a Council member and consumer representative.
The new board members are Chris Ballard, a former Ontario MPP and minister of housing and minister of environment and climate change; Ken Morden, co-owner of an Ontario horse breeder, accomplished former senior executive and chair of the Port Hope Citizens’ Association; Harvey Naglie, a former senior policy advisor for the Ontario Ministry of Finance's Financial Services Policy Division; and Trevor Shaw, a professional auditor and accountant who was a director and then principal (senior management) with the Office of the Auditor General of Canada.
The 2018-19 board of directors renewed Don Mercer as president, Dennis Hogarth as vice president, Simon Wong as secretary and Howard Deane as Treasure of the Council.
Paul Bates, a member and former board member of the Consumers Council of Canada, is among seven new members of the Investor Advisory Panel of the Ontario Securities Commission effective November 2017.
Alison Knight, a lifetime member and another former board member of the Council, has been serving on the IAP and will be completing her term.
The OSC IAP's role is to advise and comment on proposed rules, policies and investor protection initiatives of the commission, while considering the views of a broad range of investors through consultation with investors and organizations representing investors.
The Consumers Council of Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of its board of directors for 2017-18 at its annual general meeting held on June 2, 2017.
And the new board of directors re-appointed the following board members to serve as the executive of the Council:
Don Mercer, President
Dennis Hogarth, Vice President
Simon Wong, Secretary
Howard Deane, Treasurer
Joining the board for for the first time is Larry Swartz. Swartz is an award-winning lawyer and CFA Charterholde. He has expertise in independent financial, regulatory compliance, pensions, corporate governance practice. He is a member of the adjunct Faculty at Osgoode Hall Law School, with an emphasis on investments and insurance, administration and risk management, contracts and drafting, restructuring and insolvency, mergers and acquisitions, negotiation and litigation, benefits and tax. His experience includes public sector, financial institutions, and international law.
Two board members from 2016-17 ended their service on the board. The Council's members and board of directors of the Council voted to express special thanks to Aubrey LeBlanc, the Council's immediate past president, for his long service on the Council's board of directors and in executive roles. LeBlanc's service reached the Council's 7-year limit for board members. The Council also thanked Paul Bates for his two terms of service on the board, during which he made several strong contributions to the Council's work.
Other members of the 2016-17 board of directors were re-elected for another one-year term.