By Sarah Klein
Manitoba is implementing a new five-year strategy aimed at protecting consumers when they purchase homes, vehicles, perform renovations, or spend money elsewhere in the retail marketplace.
The province will introduce legislation under the Let’s Make a Better Deal plan which would ban negative-option billing and triple fines under the Consumer Protection Act. The proposed legislation would require the courts to consider ordering restitution in certain situations and imposing fines of up to three times the amount wrongly obtained by a bad business.
Family Services and Consumer Affairs Minister Gord Mackintosh announced the new measures during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
Let’s Make a Better Deal will include programs, policies, regulations and proposed legislation including:
- mandatory new home warranties,
- new condominium owner protection,
- real-estate fraud protection,
- a funeral director enforceable code of ethics and funeral price list disclosure,
- payday loan rate limits,
- an independent tenant advisor,
- clear vehicle information disclosure rules,
- cell phone contract disclosure,
- motor-vehicle repair protection,
- home renovation protection,
- pawnshop rate disclosure,
- improved real-estate condition disclosure,
- fairer collection practices,
- consumer awareness about extended warranties,
- fairer property and life-insurance provisions,
- travel cost protections,
- a pet cemetery code of ethics,
- guidelines for plain language contracts, and
- stronger enforcement.
The provincial government acquired permission to alter the name of the popular quiz show for use in promoting its consumer protection measures.