The Consumer Protection and Business Practices Act Consultations
The Consumer Protection and Business Practices Act received Royal Assent on May 15, 2013. Through this legislation, Saskatchewan is doing its part to provide a fair and balanced legislation that protects vulnerable consumers while avoiding an undue burden on Saskatchewan businesses.
Consultations on regulations under the Act will begin in June. These new regulations will become part of The Consumer Protection and Business Practices Act, which will come into effect at a later time.
The following consultation documents are available. Please check back often for updated material
About the Act
The Act updates and rationalizes the consumer protection framework for Saskatchewan – beginning with making the legislation more accessible and easier to understand. As well, the inclusion of a Designated Activities and Licensing section will allow for the consolidation of other consumer protection legislation into the Act.
Currently, consumer protection in Saskatchewan is spread across 12 separate statutes, each with different standards, enforcement mechanisms, and results. Seven of these statutes are licensing Acts or contain licensing provisions; they will be consolidated into the same Act through regulations, resulting in consistent treatment and coordinated administration. Rules will also take into account the particular needs of the industry being licensed. Also, other business types can now be brought into the licensing scheme by regulation as the need arises.
Recent court decisions, including some from the Supreme Court of Canada, have prompted an enhancement of protections to prevent the contract wording from avoiding the requirements of the Act. This protection has been applied to the entire Act, not just to marketplace practices as was previously the case. The provision ensures that standard form contracts cannot tie consumers into arbitration clauses or prohibit them from participating in class actions. However, this will not prevent the consumer from selecting arbitration if that’s the appropriate dispute resolution forum, making it the consumer’s choice.
The enforcement administration provisions have been moved to a part that applies to the whole Act.
Note that the provisions of the current Consumer Protection Act and regulations and all affected stand-alone Acts including Auctioneers, Charitable Fund-raising, Collection Agents, Commercial Cemeteries, Credit Reporting, Direct Sales and Motor Dealers remain in effect until new regulations are developed and in effect.
Consultations on the regulations will occur in stages over the next two years. Some of the first regulations considered will be motor vehicle dealer regulations, consumer contracts (internet sales, future performance, personal development services, travel club, and remotely formed contracts) and pre-paid purchase card provisions.
View a copy of Bill 55, which gave rise to the new legislation.