Canada

Federal Agencies

  1. Office of Consumer Affairs of Industry Canada

    Provides research, analysis and information and coordination in the area of consumer protection across the provinces and territories and supports and advances the interests of Canadians as consumers in the event of market failure, including protection on the Internet.

  2. Competition Bureau

    Responsible for the administration and enforcement of four statutes: the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act. Its role is to promote and maintain fair competition so that Canadians can benefit from lower prices, product choice and quality services. The Competition Bureauís website has a section on Consumer Info that provides various sources such as news, warnings, publications and related links to consumer protection.

  3. Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC)

    A federal independent body established in 2001 in order to protect and educate consumers of financial services. The FCAC is a federal regulatory agency responsible for enforcing many of the federal laws that protect consumers in their dealings with financial institution such as banks, insurance companies, trust and loan and co-operative credit associations that are federally incorporated or registered. The website provides information programs, a toll-free consumer help line and documents that promote greater awareness of the financial system and the rights and responsibilities of consumers.

Federal, Provincial and Territorial Groups

  1. Canadian Consumer Information Gateway

    A strategic partnership between more than 400 federal departments and agencies, provinces, territorial ministries and NGOís across Canada spearheaded by Industry Canada's Office of Consumer Affairs. It allows Canadians to quickly and confidently search for consumer information and services on the Internet and valuable tips on how to protect Canadians in various consumer situations including shopping on-line.

  2. Consumer Measures Committee (CMC)

    Created under Chapter Eight of the Agreement on Internal Trade. The CMC has a representative from the federal government as well as every province and territory. The CMC provides a federal-provincial-territorial forum for national cooperation to improve the marketplace for Canadian consumers, through harmonization of laws, regulations and practices and through actions to raise public awareness. The CMC has a working group on consumer protection on e-commerce.

  3. PhoneBusters

    A national anti-fraud call centre jointly operated by the Ontario Provincial Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police whose main role is educating the public about specific fraudulent telemarketing practices and other deceptive activities such as identity theft and Nigerian letters. PhoneBusters has a call center that facilitates the collection and dissemination of victim evidence, statistics, documentation and tape recordings, which are made available to outside law enforcement agencies. Its mandate also includes facilitating prosecution by United States agencies through extradition, and by Industry Canada under the Competition Act.

  4. Uniform Law Conference of Canada (ULCC)

    Founded in 1918 to harmonize the laws of the provinces and territories of Canada, and where appropriate the federal laws as well. The ULCCís mandate also includes making recommendations for changes to federal criminal legislation based on identified deficiencies, defects or gaps in the existing law, or based on problems created by judicial interpretation of existing law. The ULCC operates in two sections: the Criminal Section and the Civil Section whose work is done by delegates, sometimes called commissioners, appointed by the member governments. The ULCC has a section on Commercial Law Strategy, which aims to modernize and harmonize Canadian commercial law. The ULCC has also drafted documents on consumer protection on e-commerce.

    Uniform Law Conference of Canada
    Consumer Protection and Electronic Commerce (September 1998)

Industry Groups and Private Organizations

  1. Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP)

    An organization of ISPís established in 1996 whose mission is to foster the growth of a healthy and competitive Internet service industry in Canada through collective and cooperative action on Canadian and international issues of mutual interest. The website has a section on Consumer Confidence.

  2. Canadian Marketing Association (CMA)

    The largest marketing association in Canada representing the integration and convergence of all marketing disciplines, channels and technologies. CMA consist of more that 800 corporate members including major financial institutions, insurance companies, publishers, retailers and those involved in e-business and Internet marketing. The CMA created a website Consumersense.org that provides information to help understand consumer rights and includes sections on protecting personal information, shopping tips, resolving complaints fraud & identity theft, spam and links to groups and consumer agencies.

  3. Canadian Bankers Association (CBA)

    The main representative body for banks in Canada. The CBAís website has a section on consumer protection for financial and banking information.

  4. Canadian Standards Association (CSA)

    A provider of product testing and certification services for compliance to national and international standards, and issues certification marks for qualified products enhancing public safety and health.

  5. Canadian Council of Better Business Bureaus (CCBBB)

    Located in Ottawa and is the governing body of the 14 Better Business Bureaus across Canada. Its mission is to promote and foster the highest ethical relationship between businesses and the public through voluntary self-regulation, consumer and business education, and service excellence. The website contains information on scams, links to federal, provincial and territorial authorities, consumer links and annual reports.

Consumer Sources

  1. Consumer Connection

    A website designed and maintained by the Office of Consumer Affairs of Industry Canada that help consumers find relevant information and contains a list and sources for shopping safely on the Internet, legislation, public policy issues, publications and news on e-commerce consumer protection.

  2. Canadian Consumer Protection Laws

    A website that contains a list of legislation and resources on consumer protection sorted out by province, territory and area of consumer protection. It was created to address the publicís need for authoritative, easy to use, legal information and to assist the public in locating an attorney.

  3. Principles of Consumer Protection for Electronic Commerce

    A Canadian Framework. These principles were developed by the Working Group on Electronic Commerce and Consumers and approved by the Working Group on Electronic Commerce and Consumers in August 1999. The working group was coordinated by the Office of Consumer Affairs of Industry Canada.

  4. Internet Sales Contract Harmonization Template

    It is a regulation approved by the Consumers Measures Committee on May 25, 2001 that provides a set of terms and conditions that Internet sales contracts for good and services should contain to protect consumers rights in electronic commerce. The template covers contract formation, cancellation rights, credit card charge-backs and information provisions and is intended to serve as a uniform regulation that Canadian Provinces and Territories should adopt in their respective consumer protection legislation. As of 2004, only the provinces of Manitoba, Alberta and Ontario have adopted it in their respective local consumer protection legislation.

  5. Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Protection in Electronic Commerce

    (January 16, 2004) pdf

    Drafted by the Working Group on Electronic Commerce and Consumers, and based on the Principles of Consumer Protection for Electronic Commerce: A Canadian Framework. It is also consistent with the OECD Guidelines for Consumer Protection in the Context of Electronic Commerce. It establishes benchmarks for good business practice for merchants conducting commercial activities with consumers online. The Code was updated and endorsed by federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for consumersí affairs on January 16, 2004.

  6. Illegal and Offensive Content on the Internet

    The Canadian Strategy to Promote Safe, Wise, and Responsible Internet Use. A document containing statistics, links and information on education, self regulation, international cooperation and law enforcement drafted in 1994 by the Information Highway Advisory Council ( IHAC) to provide advice on the best way to develop Canadaís Information Highway.

  7. On-line Shopping Assistant

    A software tool that allows consumers to assess and get information consumers needs before making a purchase on the Internet. It is designed to remain on the computer screen while reviewing a merchant's web site.

  8. Shopping Safely Online

    Tips to help consumers shop safely online.

Consumer Organizations

  1. Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC)

    Established at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law in the fall of 2003 and is currently directed by Philippa Lawson. CIPPIC represents consumers and other public interests in such areas as intellectual property, consumer protection in e-commerce, domain names, Internet governance, personal information protection and privacy.

  2. Option Consommateurs

    One of the most important consumer organizations in the province of Quebec whose website contain a list of practical advise, publications reports and news for consumers. Option Consommateurs has a created a comprehensive guide for cyber consumers that contains tips and resources to shop on-line. The website is available only in French language.

  3. Public Interest Advocacy Center (PIAC)

    A non-profit organization founded in 1976 and based in Ottawa. PIAC provides legal and research services on behalf of consumer vulnerable individuals. The website has information classified by area, including electronic commerce and a list of documents sorted out by year of submission.

  4. Consumers' Association of Canada (CAC)

    An independent, not-for-profit, volunteer-based, charitable organization and its mandate is to inform and educate consumers on marketplace issues, to advocate for consumers with government and industry, and work with government and industry to solve marketplace problems.

  5. Alberta Consumerís Association

    A website maintained by Larry Phillips that provides information for Canadian consumers. The website contains sections with links to government sites and public advocacy groups in Canada, as well as a section on education that provides information for teachers who wish to use the site as a curriculum resource.

  6. Consumers Council of Canada

    An independent, not-for-profit organization federally incorporated in 1994 to provide a consumer voice and to work with federal and provincial governments, business, industry and consumers to manage consumer issues. The Councilís goal is to bring business, industry, government and consumers together. The Council works in the consumers' interest and is establishing partnerships with organizations across Canada. The website has a section on consumer assistance, news and publications on consumer protection.

  7. List of Consumer Associations by Province and Territory


Legislation

  1. Legis.ca

    A website containing federal and provincial statutes, regulations and legislative information by territory and province, including e-commerce and consumer protection laws in both official languages.