New Inspector Powers Will Enhance Consumer Protection
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.
- 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.
- Learn more about how Consumer Protection Ontario helps people ask the right questions about how to spend wisely.
- Read more about the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act, 2014.
“Our government is committed to ensuring businesses are educated when it comes to their responsibilities, and one of the most important responsibilities a business has is complying with the Consumer Protection Act. We are now providing inspectors with the power to enter businesses in Ontario and take proactive measures to ensure that these businesses are treating consumers fairly and in accordance with the law.”