Following the Comprehensive Review of Ontario’s Travel Industry Act, 2002, the Minister of Government and Consumer Services, Tracy MacCharles, has introduced new legislation to the Legislature to strengthen consumer protection when purchasing travel services in Ontario.
The Ontario Government’s Comprehensive Review aimed to achieve three important goals:
- Strengthen consumer protection
- Reduce the regulatory burden on registrants
- Improve regulatory efficiency
The new rules being proposed meet the objectives and are aimed at increasing consumer confidence and protection when making travel purchases.
If passed, the Bill would amend the Travel Industry Act, 2002 to recognize changes in the marketplace, such as online purchases and advertising by out of province travel businesses targeting Ontarians.
It would also create new registration requirements for individual travel salespersons and introduce new enforcement tools including administrative penalties to assist TICO to effectively administer and enforce Ontarios consumer protection legislation.
If the Bill passes, the Ministry will consult with stakeholders on the regulations and additional measures aimed at lessening the burden on small business, including proposed changes to financial requirements.
Richard Smart, TICO President and CEO, stated: “It is encouraging to have a major Bill tabled by the government that enhances consumer protection while reducing burden for businesses and strengthening the marketplace for registrants. The industry has changed significantly since the legislation was introduced and, if passed, these changes should benefit all stakeholders.”
TICO commends the Ontario Government for this initiative. If the Bill passes, TICO welcomes the opportunity to participate in further consultation on the regulations.