Ontario Consumer Protection Act, 2002 - Financial Services Commission of Ontario

On May 29, 2009, CIPPIC submitted a letter to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, calling for an expansion of the protections found in the Ontario Consumer Protection Act, 2002 so that these protections would apply to financial services as well.  Currently, the Act provides protections generally to consumers engaging in all services, but excludes specific financial services such as non-auto insurance, and mortgages. 

The submission recognizes that the excluded financial services enjoy some degree of protection under other statutory regimes, but briefly points to a number of instances where these other regimes fail to provide protections available in the CPA.  It also points to some potential problems that may arise from these shortcomings.

Finally, the submission argues that the CPA is a statute of general application intended to provide protection for consumers in commercial transactions and was intended to remedy the piecemeal approach taken to consumer protection up until that point by centralizing all protections in one statute.  The protections it provides are basic, and should apply to any consumer transactions, including financial transactions.  For these reasons, the submission calls for greater examination of the specific harms and benefits that arise from this lack of extended application.  This is especially salient in light of recent problems in international financial industries.  The letter calls for a more detailed examination of the issues in question.