The Alberta NDP Government made a commitment in their March 2, 2017 throne speech to strengthen consumer protection laws and introduce a Consumer Bill of Rights. 

Throughout July, August and September, Service Alberta met with interested stakeholders and consulted Albertans to help inform changes to Alberta’s existing consumer protection laws.  In addition, the Ministry met directly with RCC and other stakeholders to discuss consumer protection issues and possible solutions.
 

Current Status:

Service Alberta is now looking at moving forward with draft legislation that will result in:

1. Renaming the Fair Trading Act to the Consumer Protection Act.

2. Provide the Minister the authority to craft a Consumer Bill of Rights as a policy document intended to bring together all the components in the Consumer Protection Act.  The Consumer Bill of Rights will neither add new nor change existing rights.

3. Give the Minister the authority to require automobile dealerships to disclose key vehicle information to consumers including: requiring a standard bill of sale, the establishment of written estimates, time-dated authorization to proceed and a minimum warranty.

4. New Consumer Protection Act provisions intended to prevent businesses from being able to make unilateral amendments to contracts, providing the customer the ability to terminate the contract and requiring certain measures are undertaken including notice provision.

5. Truth in pricing provisions that would provide government the ability to regulate a standardized pricing, return, and, refund policies.
Government anticipates that the legislation will be introduced in December 2017 with regulations developed during the first half of 2018.

Next Steps:

• RCC will activity follow the progress on the legislation.
• RCC will work with Service Alberta to ensure any concerns are addressed (conflicts with retail scanner accuracy policy, harmonization and flexibility).
• RCC will write Minister Stephanie McLean to outline outstanding retail industry issues once the legislation is introduced.
• RCC will reach out to other business stakeholders to ensure we share our concerns about the proposals.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact: John Graham, Director, Government Relations (Prairie Region) at 204.926.8624 or [email protected]