Consumer Protection

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Consumers ask Minister to fix local TV and expensive basic cable-satellite service

Thursday, April 9th, 2009
In a letter to the Minister of Canadian Heritage James Moore, PIAC proposed that cable and satellite service first offer a much reduced package of basic service.

Proposed amendments to the Competition Act represent a fairly balanced take on necessary refinements

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009
Bill C-10, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on January 27, 2009 and related fiscal measures

PIAC Wants Canadian Broadcasting to Serve the Consumer Not the Distributors

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008
With hearings to consider changes in the way the CRTC regulates cable and satellite television companies or BDUs (Broadcasting Distribution Undertakings) starting today in Gatineau, PIAC called for less attention to the wishes of the industry, and more effort to deliver what the consumer wants.

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.

CRTC Deferral Account: What Consumers Want

Saturday, February 25th, 2006
On February 16, 2006, in Decision Telecom 2006-9, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ruled that over $650 million dollars of telephone subscriber fees that had been raised by officially sanctioned higher rates for telephone service should be spent by incumbent phone companies like Bell, Aliant, Sasktel and TELUS should be used to build high-speed Internet connections to rural and remote areas and to improve access for persons with disabilities, despite arguments by PIAC and others that the money should be rebated to consumers.

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.

Smart Regulation Will Need Public Input To Succeed

Thursday, September 23rd, 2004
Smart Regulation, a new strategy for regulation recommended by a federal government appointed committee, will need considerable checks and balances, and in particular mandated public input, in order to achieve its goals

Canadians Want Increased Consumer Protection For Internet Services – Media Release

Wednesday, September 8th, 2004
A new study released today by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) highlights problems with consumer protection for customers of internet services. According to Michael Janigan, PIAC Executive Director and General Counsel, “Canadian internet customers are not being well served by the current hands-off approach to regulation of the Internet”. Janigan also noted “Our survey found that almost two thirds of consumers think that the government should develop and enforce consumer protection rules. In particular, sixty-two percent of customers thought it was very important for the government to develop rules with respect to quality of service.”
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