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Report Concludes Consumer Protection Usually Better in Europe

For immediate release:

July 3, 2009

OTTAWA – The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today released a report comparing consumer protection in Canada with the regime provided by the European Commission. The report entitled Consumer Protection in Canada and the European Union: A Comparison provides a study of the different approaches to protecting consumers in Canadian and European jurisdictions using the EU publication “Ten Principles of Consumer Protection” as a benchmark of comparison.

The chief finding of the report is that Canada’s consumer protection laws and regulations are, in general, far less comprehensive than those of the European Union particularly in a number of wide ranging areas including food labeling, ecommerce, airline transportation, and telecommunications. Michael Janigan, Executive Director and General Counsel of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, who helped produce the report, stated that the differences were not simply the result of differing economic conditions. Janigan noted:

“Our conclusion was that the reason that consumers are better protected in Europe in many key consumer transactions is that policymakers place consumers at the centre of any considerations when making market place rules. In Canada, looking after consumer interests is an afterthought. For example, we haven’t had a consumer affairs ministry in over 16 years at the federal level.”

The report was made possible with a grant from the European Community through its External Relations program. The Executive Summary is available here.

The Final version of the Report [pdf file: 0.93mb] is available here.

For further information contact:

Michael Janigan
Executive Director and General Counsel
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
ONE Nicholas Street, Suite 1204
Ottawa, ON
K1N 7B7, Canada
Tele No.: 613 562-4002×26
Fax No.: 613 562-0007
www.piac.ca

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