Ontario Government Protecting Consumers, Helping Businesses

Archived Release

Ontario Government Protecting Consumers, Helping Businesses

Ministry of Consumer Services

Consumer Awareness Week Helps Ontarians Avoid Frauds And Scams TORONTO, Nov. 7 - Educated consumers are the best defence against frauds and scams, Government Services Minister Gerry Phillips said today at the kickoff of Consumer Awareness Week. "Every year more than 70,000 consumers contact our ministry for help and advice - many involving scams and frauds," said Phillips. "We want to provide consumers with the knowledge to protect themselves from being ripped off." The second annual Consumer Awareness Week runs from November 7 - 13, and focuses public attention on consumer issues such as buying a home, planning a trip, online purchases, auto repairs, gym memberships and timeshares. "Consumer Awareness Week helps consumers and businesses learn more about their rights and protections under the new and stronger Consumer Protection Act," said Phillips. "It is the most sweeping and comprehensive change to Ontario's consumer laws in more than 30 years." Phillips marked the start of Consumer Awareness Week by launching the 2006 Fraud Free Calendar at a kick off event at the Eaton Centre accompanied by business partners who are co-sponsoring Consumer Awareness Week. The calendar provides tips and advice for consumers to help avoid frauds and scams. It covers a variety of issues, from identity theft, phoney charities and fitness clubs to home renovations and shopping online. More than 215,000 calendars will be distributed around the province through government offices and other outlets. Government partners in the province wide consumer protection campaign include the Ontario Real Estate Association, Travel Industry Council of Ontario, Real Estate Council of Ontario, Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council, Bank of Canada, Canada Revenue Agency - Charities Directorate, Equifax Canada, Investment Dealers Association of Canada, Investor Education Fund, Interac Association, Retail Council of Canada, the Centre for the Financial Services and Ombudsnetwork. "We are pleased to be working in conjunction with the government and others on these important consumer initiatives," said Judith Wolfson, president and CEO of the Interac Association. "We want consumers to know the importance of dealing with qualified real estate professionals and the quality services and protection our members provide to clients," said Ontario Real Estate Association president Tamer Fahmi. For more information on Consumer Awareness Week in Ontario, visit www.mgs.gov.on.ca or call the ministry's Consumer Services Bureau at 416-326-8800 or 1-800-889-9768. The calendars are available across the province through Government Information Centres and local MPP offices or can be ordered online through the ministry's website at www.mgs.gov.on.ca Disponible en francais www.mgs.gov.on.caFor further information: Ciaran Ganley, Minister's Office, (416) 212-3547; Sam Colalillo, Communications Branch, (416) 327-2812