CPA Public Affairs
February 2021

UPDATE – ON: CPA responds to proposed changes to the Consumer Protection Act

Print Print this Article | Send to Colleague

As members were advised earlier this year, Ontario’s Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS) conducted industry consultations on proposed revisions to the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 in January 2021. The Act governs most consumer transactions and establishes basic business rules and consumer remedies in the province.

The proposed revisions are wide-ranging and include key areas of the Act including consumer contracts, price changes, contract terminations and stronger consumer remedy rights.

On January 28, 2021, the CPA Ontario Government Relations Director, Marcelline Riddell, participated in a ministry stakeholder consultation session along with two industry representatives to discuss the proposals in depth and identify significant areas of concern.

Riddell submitted a response reflecting member input on behalf of the province’s propane businesses to the Ministry on February 1, 2021.

The submission highlighted three main areas of concern for industry, including:

  1. Contract changes and renewals – the government proposes to penalize businesses that change contract terms, such as price, within the contract period, without written notice. The CPA advised the ministry that these provisions negate the fundamentals of propane market operations. Proposals disallowing price fluctuations to be passed on to consumers’ variable contracts and permitting no cost exit clauses would significantly harm the sector.
  2. Rental and lease agreements – the proposal refers to lease and rental agreements interchangeably. The CPA requested clarification on these terms to adequately assess industry impact.
  3. Enhanced recovery measures – the government proposes an automatic award of three times the refund amount should a consumer successfully sue for failure to provide a refund. The CPA believes this multiplier to be arbitrary and not aligned with consumer costs.

On February 18, 2021, Riddell and an industry member met with Ministry policy staff presenting the need for contractual agreements to reflect propane market forces. Ministry staff committed to considering the information provided in the next steps of legislative development and contacting CPA with any further questions.


Back to CPA Public Affairs

Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn