Ontario’s Inspection Authorities to Ensure Better Business Compliance: As of April 1, 2015, new inspectors will be appointed under the Consumer Protection Act in order to better protect consumers and proactively promote business compliance.
These inspectors will take a more preventative and targeted approach to enforcement through the use of education and awareness materials and new tools such as warning letters. This will help to cut down on the number of consumer issues that go to mediation or prosecution, which can be a costly and time-consuming process.
Currently, enforcement of the Consumer Protection Act relies on formal consumer complaints or inquiries and there is no authority for the government to proactively inspect a business.
With these new changes, inspectors will be able to:
- Proactively enter a place of business in Ontario
- Examine documentation relevant to an inspection
- Require the person being inspected to cooperate in the inspection
- Issue orders to address and correct consumer issues, where appropriate.
Protecting Ontario consumers is part of the government’s economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people’s talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.
- The Consumer Protection Act establishes many of the rights of consumers in Ontario, along with other consumer protection legislation that covers the most common consumer transactions.
- These new inspection powers were included in the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act, 2014, which would establish rules for the towing and vehicle storage industries through measures that tackle questionable practices.
- The Auto Insurance Cost and Rate Reduction Strategy was developed in conjunction with Ontario’s Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force and aims to prevent fraud and help to protect consumers. It is committed to addressing the remaining recommendations over the coming months.
March 26, 2015 – Ministry of Government and Consumer Services