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The Ontario government is considering making changes to direct selling rules and enforcement provisions under the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 (CPA).

In March 2018, rules were introduced to prohibit unsolicited door-to-door sales for certain products and services (e.g., water heaters, furnaces, air and water filters, etc.). Presently, a restricted product or service cannot be offered or sold at a consumer’s home unless the consumer initiates contact with the business and invites the business to their home for the specific purpose of entering into an agreement for such a product or service. There are some exceptions if a business has a written agreement in effect with the consumer.

Though supportive of the intent of these regulations, HRAI presented a number of concerns about their effect on legitimate residential retrofit contractors who do not engage in questionable sales tactics such as door-to-door selling.  In the view of HRAI, the regulations that were adopted in early 2018 reached far beyond their intended target. 

It would appear that the government is listening.  The Ontario Ministry Government and Consumer Services has responded to HRAI’s concerns with a series of regulatory amendments.

The consultation proposal is seeking responses on amendments that would:

  • reduce burden and barriers for businesses that provide products and services when the consumer has initiated contact;
  • level the playing field by increasing consumer protection to deter non-compliant businesses in the sector; and
  • strengthen enforcement powers to target businesses that cause the most harm to consumers.

The consultation paper includes proposals to increase consumer protection and strengthen enforcement provisions generally under the CPA. As a result, proposals included may affect businesses that do not engage in door-to-door sales or home-contracting.

HRAI will be convening meetings with members to discuss the proposed changes so that a member-informed submission can be made to the Ministry. If you are interested in being part of this discussion, contact Martin Luymes (see below).

Members are also welcome to provide direct input. Providing the reasons behind your views will help give a better understanding of your perspective. All comments received may be used to inform recommendations for potential changes to the Act and its regulations.

Visit the Ontario Regulatory Registry to read the consultation paper and provide your feedback.  Submissions should 500 words or less and should be sent directly to Consumer Policy

or

Direct Selling Consultation

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

c/o Consumer Policy and Liaison Branch

56 Wellesley St. W. 6th Floor

Toronto, ON  M7A 1C1

Comments are due July 29, 2019.

If you are interested in participating in a formal discussion with HRAI on this topic or have some specific input you would like HRAI to consider, please contact Martin Luymes at 1-800-267-2231 ext. 235.