PIAC Reports

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The Use of Administrative Monetary Penalties in Consumer Protection

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007
The use of “Administrative Monetary Penalties”, otherwise known as “AMPs”, is a unique enforcement scheme that has gained significant attention from international regulators. AMPs are increasingly used to engender compliance and cooperation from the ‘regulated community’, to secure environmental or consumer protection, and to encourage the timely rectification of market problems. Regulators in Canada have used AMPs for some time; however, it is only relatively recently that they have become a favorite tool among regulators.

Treatment of Efficiencies in the Competition Act

Wednesday, December 8th, 2004
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) welcomes this opportunity to submit comments in response to the Competition Bureau's Consultation Paper, “Treatment of Efficiencies in the Competition Act”. PIAC has been representing consumer interests before various regulatory and administrative tribunals for over twenty-five years, in particular as concerns questions of economic regulation. As a result, PIAC can bring a consumer perspective to bear on the questions raised by the Consultation Paper.

Mandatory Arbitration and Consumer Contracts

Monday, November 1st, 2004
This report examines the use of mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer contracts. A mandatory arbitration clause is a clause in a contract that requires two parties (a service provider and a consumer) to arbitrate any dispute that may arise from the contract instead of taking the dispute to court.

Corporate Retaliation Against Consumers

Thursday, September 30th, 2004
This report examines the phenomenon of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) in Canada. SLAPPs are lawsuits or the threat of a lawsuit, directed against consumers or individual citizens when they publicly criticize products or services or advocate for change. The lawsuit usually takes the form of an action for defamation.

Electronic Authentication: An Element of Canada’s Trust Agenda

Tuesday, May 30th, 2000
To date, issuing authoritative forms of personal identification has been the exclusive prerogative of government. Similarly, it has been governments alone that have traditionally made rules about who can use infrastructure, particularly infrastructure that is important to its citizens' standard of living. In public key infrastructure (PKI), it is proposed that private certification authorities (CAs) will both issue identification and potentially control access to the information highway. Implementing this proposal would transfer powers that have historically been the realm of governments to private entities. Electronic Authentication: An Element of Canada's Trust Agenda does not acknowledge this fundamental shift in power, and does not meaningfully consider what it means for individual citizens.

Comparative Analysis of BBBOnline Draft Code

Thursday, March 30th, 2000
Comparative Analysis of BBBOnline Draft Code of Online Business Practices with Other Consumer ECommerce Codes and Standards

A Garland For Consumers: Will The Garland Case Provide Safeguards For Vulnerable Consumers?

Saturday, January 8th, 2000
In October of 1998, the Supreme Court of Canada found that the Late Payment Penalties (LPP) charged by Consumers’ Gas may constitute a criminal interest rate contrary to section 347 of the Criminal Code. The decision, in Garland v. Consumers’ Gas, was unexpected insofar as the LPP had been continuously approved by the Ontario Energy Board since its adoption in 1975. It also brings in its wake, however, an important opportunity to revisit the need to provide safeguards for vulnerable consumers.

Improving Internet Access: The Canadian Approach

Friday, April 30th, 1999
Paper for “Computers, Freedom and Privacy: The Global Internet”

Digital Authentication and Consumers’ Privacy

Wednesday, December 31st, 1969
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