Sent on Behalf of Glen Padassery, Assistant Deputy Minister (Acting), Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

I am writing to advise you that Bill 166, the Strengthening Protection for Ontario Consumers Act, 2017 has passed Third Reading in the Ontario legislature. It will help build a fairer, safer and more informed marketplace with stronger rules for buying tickets to events and travel services, and purchasing, leasing or selling real estate, including newly built homes. More information on this legislation is available here.

The act amends the Travel Industry Act, 2002, to strengthen protection for consumers buying travel services and reduce burden on travel agents and travel wholesalers. The changes include:

  • Enabling the creation of new rules for representations, such as advertising, by out of province travel sellers who target Ontarians.
  • Creating a registration requirement for individual travel salespersons.
  • Lessening the burden on travel agents and travel wholesalers by creating a registration class of travel seller so that the businesses would no longer need to register as both a travel agent and travel wholesaler.
  • Improving compliance with the rules by providing new enforcement tools, such as administrative penalties and compliance orders, including a new appeal mechanism to the License Appeal Tribunal for these new enforcement measures.

Further consultation with the public and industry stakeholders will be required to inform the development of changes to supporting regulations before the changes to the Travel Industry Act, 2002 take effect. The ministry plans to consult on proposed regulation changes, including:

  • Strengthening consumer protection by:
    • Requiring registered travel sellers to disclose additional information to consumers so they can make informed choices; and
    • Requiring continuing education for travel salespersons.
  • Lessening the burden on travel sellers, the majority of whom are small businesses, by updating requirements, such as financial reporting and security deposits.

These changes, including the proposed regulatory changes, are based on a multi-phased consultation process that included input from the public and travel industry stakeholders.

On behalf of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, I would like to thank you for your past participation and for your continued interest in this process.

If you have any questions, please contact the ministry at TravelIndustryAct@ontario.ca.