Proposal to implement administrative penalties under the Consumer Protection Act, 2002
Regulation - Minister
Bill or Act:
Bill 159, the Rebuilding Consumer Confidence Act, 2020
Summary of Proposal:
Amendments to the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 (CPA) in the Rebuilding Consumer Confidence Act, 2020 (Bill 159), would, if passed, enable the use of administrative penalties (APs) to support compliance and prevent a business from deriving an economic benefit from non-compliance.
This consultation is on draft regulations that propose administrative penalties for certain CPA requirements, as well as the proposed penalty amounts. These regulations could be made only if the proposed bill is passed.
APs are initially proposed for disclosure obligations in two key areas: direct agreements (including door-to-door agreements) and tow and storage services.
Direct agreements with consumers are negotiated or entered into in person, and not at the seller's place of business. Disclosure rules for many direct agreements are set out in the CPA General Regulation, while disclosure rules for "prescribed goods and services," including water heaters, furnaces, and HVACs are in a Minister's Regulation.
The CPA sets out disclosure rules for tow and storage services in the Act and General Regulation.
The draft regulation proposes penalty amounts of $2,500 for the first contravention of a particular requirement, $5,000 for the second contravention, and $15,000 for each additional contravention within a two-year period.
We welcome your views on both the requirements that would be enforced using administrative penalties and the proposed penalty amounts.
Should a regulation be made to implement administrative penalties, corresponding amendments would also be made to the General Regulation under the Consumer Protection Act.
If you have suggestions for other effective approaches to scale administrative penalties, we would welcome your input. Alternative approaches could include scaling penalties by size of business, by the number of consumers affected by the contravention, or another factor.
The government announced a review of the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 to give consumers and businesses the opportunity to share their thoughts on how the act can better keep pace with today's marketplace and further strengthen consumer protection. Additional CPA requirements could be proposed for administrative penalties in the future, based on the results of the review and related changes to the CPA.
If you would like to be included in consultations on the review of the CPA, please e-mail ConsumerPolicy@Ontario.ca to be added to the ministry's mailing list.
March 9, 2020
Comments Due Date:
August 4, 2020
CPA Administrative Penalties Consultation
Consumer Policy and Liaison Branch
Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
56 Wellesley Street West - 6th Floor,
Toronto, ON, M7A 1C1