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CONSUMER LAW

Consumer Protection (Ontario) Law
General CPA Law
(01 July 2013)

Chapter 10 - Public Enforcement Record

  1. Overview
  2. Contents of Public Record
    (a) Undertakings of Voluntary Compliance
    (b) Compliance Orders
    (c) Unfair Practice Stop Orders
    (d) Freeze Orders
    (e) Court Restraining Orders
    (f) Fine Collection Liens Ordered
    (g) Current Regulatory Prosecutions and Convictions
    . Eligible Legislation
    . Details of Charge to be Recorded
    (h) Regulatory Action Undertaken Under Other Statutes
    . Eligible Legislation
    . Details of Regulatory Action to be Recorded
    (i) Complaints Received
    . Criteria for Recording
    . Details of Complaint to be Recorded
  3. Form and Duration of Public Record
  4. Fees for Inspection of Public Record
------------------------------


1. Overview

The Director of the Consumer Protection Branch shall maintain a public record of enforcement activities (ie. orders, prosecutions or other regulatory activities) - and of complaints activities.


2. Contents of Public Record

The contents of the public record are as set out below [CPA 103(2); CP Regs 86, 87]. The enforcement activities mentioned are covered in Part C, Ch.8 ["Administrative Enforcement"] or Ch.9 ["CPA Prosecutions"]:

(a) Undertakings of Voluntary Compliance

See Ch.8, s.10.

(b) Compliance Orders

See Ch.8, ss.6 and 7.

(c) Unfair Practice Stop Orders

See Ch.8, s.8.

(d) Freeze Orders

See Ch.8, s.11.

(e) Court Restraining Orders

See Ch.8, s.12.

(f) Fine Collection Liens Ordered

See Ch.9, s.19(c).

(g) Current Regulatory Prosecutions and Convictions

. Overview

See Ch.9 generally.

. Eligible Legislation

Regulatory prosecutions (under the Provincial Offences Act) laid and convictions registered (both since 30 July 2005) under the present Consumer Protection Act, and under any of the following Acts [CP Reg 88]:
  • the Athletics Control Act,
  • the Bailiffs Act,
  • the Cemeteries Act (Revised),
  • the Collection Agencies Act,
  • the Consumer Reporting Act,
  • the Film Classification Act, 2005 or
  • the Payday Loans Act, 2008.
. Details of Charge to be Recorded

Details of such charges shall include:
  • name of defendant;

  • any business names used;

  • the business address, business phone number, business fax number and business email (if known);

  • and, with respect to each charge: the Act under which it was laid, a description of the charge, the date laid, and in the case of a conviction the court's disposition of the matter including sentence, compensation and/or restitution ordered to be paid.
(h) Regulatory Action Undertaken Under Other Statutes

. Eligible Legislation

Regulatory actions (not prosecutions) taken since 30 July 2005 against any "person who is required to hold a permit or to be appointed, licensed or registered" under any of the following Acts [CP Reg 89]:
  • the Athletics Control Act,
  • the Bailiffs Act,
  • the Cemeteries Act (Revised),
  • the Collection Agencies Act,
  • the Consumer Reporting Act,
  • the Film Classification Act, 2005 or
  • the Payday Loans Act, 2008.
. Details of Regulatory Action to be Recorded

Details of such regulatory actions shall include:
  • name of the subject person;

  • any business names used;

  • their business address, business phone number, business fax number and business email (if known);

  • and, with respect to each regulatory action: the Act under which it was taken, a description of the action, the grounds for taking the action, the date it was taken, and final results of the action including the revocation or suspension of an appointment, a licence or a registration, if any.
(i) Complaints Received

. Criteria for Recording

Complaints received by the Director will be processed if they meet all of the following four criteria [CP Reg 90(1,2)]:
  • i. Complaint Form Minimum Requirements

    The complaint is made 'in writing, identifies the complainant as a consumer and asserts that the complainant gave or attempted to give notice of the substance of the complaint to the person about whom the complaint is made";

  • ii. Transaction Value Exceeds $100

    The total potential payment obligation of the consumer under the consumer transaction, excluding any cost of borrowing, exceeds $100, or if the transaction is a payday loan, then the amount of the loan advance made exceeds $100;

  • iii. Failure to Resolve or Failure of Service

    Either:

    • the Ministry gave notice of the substance of the complaint to the respondent "by mail, telephone discussion, telephone message, fax or e-mail" on two occasions not more than 20 days apart, and within 20 days after the second notice the respondent:

      - has not remedied the situation to the satisfaction of the complainant, or

      - has requested a ten day extension, but still after that has not remedied the situation to the satisfaction of the complainant.

    Or:

    • the Ministry tried to give notice of the substance of the complaint to the respondent at least twice by "any combination of mail, telephone, fax or e-mail" but "the mail was returned or Ministry staff were unable to have a telephone discussion with the person, leave a telephone message, send a fax or send an e-mail";

    AND

  • iv. Acts Covered

    The complaint must raise the possibility of contravention, after 30 July 2005, of any of the following Acts:

    • the Consumer Protection Act,
    • the Athletics Control Act,
    • the Bailiffs Act,
    • the Cemeteries Act (Revised),
    • the Collection Agencies Act,
    • the Consumer Reporting Act,or
    • the Payday Loans Act, 2008.

    If the respondent proves to the Director's satisfaction that either they did not receive Notice of the complaint, or that they "has remedied the situation to the satisfaction of the complainant or otherwise responded to the substance of the complaint', then the complaint will be removed from the public record [CP Reg 90(3)].

    . Details of Complaint to be Recorded

    If the above conditions are met then the Director shall record the following respecting the complaint in the public record [CP Reg 90(1)]:

    • name of the respondent;

    • any business names used;

    • their business address, business phone number, business fax number and business email (if known);

    • the number of complaints received by the Director about the respndent;

    • the substance and disposition of each complaint, and whether a regulatory prosecution was laid or other regulatory action undertaken (both as above) in respect of the complaint;

    • and, with respect to each charge: the Act under which it was laid, a description of the charge, the date laid, and in the case of a conviction the court's disposition of the matter including sentence, compensation and/or restitution ordered to be paid;

    • and, with respect to each regulatory action: the Act under which it was taken, a description of the action, the grounds for taking the action, the date it was taken, and final results of the action including the revocation or suspension of an appointment, a licence or a registration, if any.


    3. Form and Duration of Public Record

    Such public records must be available for at least 21 months, but not more than 27 months, in all of the following forms [CP Reg 86]:

    • posted on a government website

      "Consumer Beware List"
      Note:
      This isn't a list, but a searchable database. On you entering three letters (or numbers in the case of numbered companies or business names that use numbers in their name), it will return a list of all parties subject of proceedings who match that search string (even if it is embedded within their name). For example, the search string "smi" would produce result for all parties with "smith" in their name, as well as for "yasmiin ltd", or "transmission co.", etc.

      This is a vast improvement over 2010, when you had to have the exact and full legal name of any party in the registry before it would produce a result.
    • by orally disclosing it to a caller who requests it [1 800 889 9768]; and

    • in printed form.

    However, if the posting relates to the regulatory prosecution of a CPA or related offence [as per s.2(g): "Current Regulatory Prosecutions and Convictions", above] and the person has either been found not guilty, or the charges have been withdrawn, then the Director shall immediately remove it from the public record.


    4. Fees for Inspection of Public Record

    The Ministry may require fees for the public to inspect these records [CPA 104].
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