ACTA Responds To Ontario Government’s TICO Board Changes
ACTA said it is not surprised by the disclosure of the Ontario government orders to change the composition of the TICO board that were released by TICO on Aug. 11.
In a statement, ACTA president, Wendy Paradis said that ACTA met with the Ontario Attorney General last spring and the Director of Consumer Policy in early July, both groups spoke about this future model for the TICO board and advised that all other Ontario regulators moved to this model after their AG audit.
“TICO went through an auditor general audit early this year so we were expecting this change,” Paradis said.
Paradis continued: “Regardless of this change in board composition, it is important that the voice of the industry is heard by TICO and the Ontario government – and to this end, there will be 2 industry directors on the new board and there will be an industry advisory council formed.”
ACTA notes that anyone interested in being considered for the TICO board must apply by August 21, 2023.
In her statement, Paradis points out that “ACTA is still in the dark about recommendations for any changes to the TICO fee structure and the mechanism for funding the Compensation Fund.”
Last month, ACTA and CATO took the unprecedented step of removing appointees from TICO board meetings until the TICO AGM in September –or, until they are given a copy of TICO’s recommendations to the Ontario government on TICO’s future fee structure and Compensation Fund funding.
ACTA has requested an urgent meeting with Minister Kaleed Rasheed, Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery of Ontario to discuss the Ontario Consumer Compensation Fund funding model before TICO’s consultation with registrants and stakeholders takes place this Fall.
ACTA’s president said that: “The Ontario government continuously “says” it is committed to red tape reduction – a reduction in administrative and financial burden on Ontario business. They say…Ontario is “open for business.”
Paradis continued: “The message that ACTA has delivered to government is clear. The industry cannot and should not be bogged down by unnecessary administrative burden to run a travel business in Ontario. The industry cannot and should not be required to financially support an ever-expanding regulator with increased unnecessary legislation and fees.”
Paradis continued: “Our message has been consistent. If the Ontario government is committed to a Traveller Consumer Compensation Fund in Ontario to cover potential bankruptcies, the current compensation should be fixed, including…that the beneficiary of the fund – the travel consumer – should be the contributor to that Fund as is the model in Quebec. “
ACTA’s president concludes: “The industry is recovering from a catastrophic global pandemic and should not and cannot support unnecessary administrative and financial burden.”