On October 23, 2023, Ontario introduced Bill 142, Better for Consumers, Better for Businesses Act, 2023 (Bill 142), which would repeal the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 and enact the Consumer Protection Act 2023, (the “new CPA”)  as well as amend the Consumer Reporting Act, 2002.  Bill 142 is aimed at addressing changing consumer habits and business practices in an increasingly online world, and would, if passed, seek to strengthen consumer protections and make life easier for both consumers and businesses.

The new CPA is divided into five key parts, dealing with: (i) fair marketplace rules, (ii) consumer contracts, (iii) credit agreements, leases, and prepaid purchase card contracts, (iv) consumer remedies, and (v) the powers and duties of the Minister and Director, and inspectors and investigators.  These sections include numerous initiatives aimed at strengthening consumer protections, such as:

  • Tackling unfair business practices, such as price gouging or a consumer’s inability to understand the language in a contract;
  • Increasing fines for illegal business activity from $50,000 to $100,000 for individuals, and from $250,000 to $500,000 for corporations; and
  • Clarifying that businesses cannot include terms in a contract that mislead consumers about their right to have disputes adjudicated in an Ontario court.

The amendments to the Consumer Reporting Act, 2002 would increase consumer access to credit information, allow consumers to place a security freeze on their credit report in some circumstances, and permit a consumer to provide a consumer reporting agency with an explanatory statement about information in the consumer’s file.  The amendments also propose to increase the maximum fines for offences and provide consumers with a right to commence action for damages against a person who contravenes the Consumer Reporting Act, 2002 or its regulations.

Bill 142 is currently in its second reading in the Ontario legislature. Please continue to monitor the E-TIPS ® Newsletter for further updates on the Bill.

Summary By: Claire Bettio


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Disclaimer: This Newsletter is intended to provide readers with general information on legal developments in the areas of e-commerce, information technology and intellectual property. It is not intended to be a complete statement of the law, nor is it intended to provide legal advice. No person should act or rely upon the information contained in this newsletter without seeking legal advice.

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