Latest News

CRTC throws consumers to telco sales dogs

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today reacted negatively to a letter from the Chair of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) rejecting PIAC’s call for the CRTC to pursue a public inquiry into reported inappropriate, aggressive and potentially misleading sales of communications services. John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel at PIAC, said in reaction to the letter: “The CRTC refusal to inquire into the shocking sales practices of Canada’s major telecommunications and broadcasting companies says to consumers ‘You’re on your own.’”

CRTC widens the digital divide

Thursday, January 25th, 2018
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), ACORN Canada (ACORN) and National Pensioners Federation (NPF) today reacted negatively to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) rejection of their review of the CRTC’s previous decision to deny creating a fund to ensure all Canadians, including lower-income Canadians, have equal access to broadband and other telecommunications services. John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel at PIAC, said “We are once again shocked that the CRTC will do precisely nothing to support affordable internet access. They are widening the digital divide by saying ‘it’s not our problem.’”

PIAC Request for Commission Inquiry into Sales Practices of Major Communications Providers

Monday, January 8th, 2018
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today requested in a letter to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission that the CRTC hold a public inquiry into the sales practices of major telecommunications and broadcasting service providers, given recent media reports into potentially misleading and aggressive sales tactics.

FAIR Canada and PIAC Welcome Steps to Ensure Compliance with OBSI Requirements

Friday, December 8th, 2017
FAIR Canada and PIAC welcome the CSA, IIROC and MFDA taking a step in the right direction to improve compliance with the OBSI dispute resolution process for securities complaints. We are also pleased to see that the CSA, IIROC and MFDA may view refusals or low ball offers as an indication of problems with a registered firm’s complaint handling practices including their obligation to deal fairly, honestly and in good faith with clients, act within the applicable standard of care, or have implemented and maintained effective complaint handling procedures.

PIAC Research Finds Increasing Legal Risk in Payment Systems Being Borne by Consumers

Friday, December 1st, 2017
A new research report published by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today demonstrates increasing legal risk being borne by consumers when using established as well as new innovative electronic payment systems. The report finds inconsistent allocation of legal risk from electronic payments transactions depending on their form, jurisdictional overlaps and gaps between federal and provincial rules and asymmetrical service provider contracts that leave consumers at a distinct disadvantage.

PIAC Looks Forward to Air Passenger Bill of Rights as Canadian Transportation Agency Confirms Air Transat Tarmac Delay Blunder

Thursday, November 30th, 2017
“The CTA’s findings confirm that there are occasions where airlines do not properly treat or care for their passengers, and that they will ultimately be held responsible, even if some circumstances are outside of their control,” said John Lawford, PIAC’s Executive Director and General Counsel. “We hope that the airline passenger bill of rights will deliver the clear, standardized rules Canadians need and which will apply to this and other air travel issues which regularly frustrate consumers,” Lawford continued.

Media Release: CCTS Annual Report Shows Need for Internet Code and Sales Practices Review

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017
OTTAWA – The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today noted evidence in the 2016-2017 Annual Report of the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services (CCTS) which indicates that home internet is inadequately regulated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). PIAC also found evidence in the CCTS Annual Report that indicates that sales practices of communications service providers of wireless telephone, wireline telephone, internet and subscription television services are aggressive and lead to excessive consumer complaints, and likewise should be inquired into by the CRTC.

Canadian Transportation Agency will begin air passenger protection consultations once legislation comes into force

Thursday, November 9th, 2017
Under proposed legislation now before Parliament, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) will be empowered to make air passenger protection regulations. Canadians will have the opportunity to provide input and participate in the CTA's public consultations.

Howard Pawley Memorial Lecture – Michael Copps Speech: Net Neutrality & Beyond

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre and the Centre for Law, Technology and Society at the University of Ottawa were pleased to host the first inaugural Howard Pawley Memorial Lecture this evening. The event was well-attended by advocates, academics, and students interested in Net Neutrality developments in the United States and bigger questions beyond. We would like to thank Michael Copps for sharing his time and insights with all of us. 

Join Us: Howard Pawley Memorial Lecture – October 18, 2017 – Michael Copps: Net Neutrality & Beyond

Monday, October 2nd, 2017
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre and the Centre for Law, Technology and Society at the University of Ottawa are delighted to introduce: Michael Copps – Net Neutrality and Beyond: The Long Road Ahead (Howard Pawley Memorial Lecture). Wednesday, October 18th, 2017, at 5:30pm / Fauteux Hall, Room 147 / 57 Louis Pasteur, Ottawa, ON. RSVP (free) at: http://tinyurl.com/pawley2017
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