Ontario Introduces Legislation to Improve Elevator Availability and Credit Reporting Fairness
New Law Would Give Consumers More Control Over Credit Information and Reduce Elevator Outages
Ontario introduced legislation today that would, if passed, give consumers easier access to credit information and improve access to elevators. The new law would make Ontario the first jurisdiction in the world to establish standards for elevator repair times and would give Ontario consumers the strongest rights in Canada over information held by consumer reporting agencies.
The proposed changes under the Access to Consumer Credit Reports and Elevator Availability Act would require certain credit reporting agencies to:
- Give consumers online access to their current consumer score at least two times per year, free of charge
- Include in a consumer report information about any consumer scores given to third parties in the past 12 months
- Implement a credit freeze, at the request of a consumer to help reduce identity theft.
The province is also proposing changes to help reduce elevator outages and improve access to elevators through enhanced enforcement of maintenance requirements, publishing information about elevator performance to help consumers make better decisions before they rent or buy and creating new standards for new high-rises to ensure they have enough elevators to adequately serve residents. If the bill is passed, Ontario would consult with the public and businesses in the development of these standards.
Protecting consumers is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- From January 2015 to December 2017, Consumer Protection Ontario received approximately 2,000 complaints and inquiries about consumer reporting agencies.
- There are about 20,000 elevators in approximately 10,000 residential and institutional buildings in Ontario, including long-term care and retirement homes. Approximately 655,000 elevator trips are taken each day on these elevators.
- The government commissioned an independent study to examine the issue of elevator availability and propose solutions, which was conducted by the Honourable J. Douglas Cunningham. Ontario’s action plan addresses all of the 19 recommendations proposed in the final report.
- Ontario’s Action Plan on Elevator Availability
- Ontario’s current rules for credit reporting agencies
- Privacy rules for consumer reporting agencies are covered by the Government of Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
- The final report and recommendations to improve elevator availability
“Our proposed new rules for consumer reporting agencies and elevators would, if passed, help give Ontario consumers more information about things that we rely on in our daily lives. Better information about credit scores can be a critical link in financial health, and access to reliable elevators is a necessity, and in some instances a lifeline. We need to make sure that both are transparent and on the up and up.”