January 2023

Office of Consumer Affairs

January 2023

This issue of Consumer Edge features information about Data Privacy Week, credit scores and reports and the new one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit. You can also read about Food Secure Canada's research report on the accessibility of sustainably-produced food in Canada.

January 23rd to the 27th is Data Privacy Week

Data Privacy Week is an internationally recognized initiative to raise awareness about online privacy. Every year, it serves as a reminder to consumers to protect personal information and encourages businesses to respect and manage data in a secure way.

Keep an eye on the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's website for updates on events throughout the week, as well as privacy management and data protection tips. Use the hashtag #DataPrivacyWeek to join the online conversation on privacy rights and obligations.

Understanding your credit score and report

It's a good idea to check your financial standing every once in a while! Why not start the new year with a clear picture of your current financial situation?

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada's (FCAC) web page on credit reports and scores provides you with resources and information to help you learn how to read your credit report, improve your credit score, check for errors and more.

Visit the FCAC website for more information about debt, borrowing tips and budgeting tools.

Apply for the one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit

As part of the Government of Canada's measures to make life more affordable for Canadians, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recently introduced a one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit. This new benefit is tax-free and provides a one-time payment of $500 to eligible applicants facing housing affordability challenges.

Before you apply, check whether you meet the program's eligibility criteria. If you are eligible, use the CRA's pre-application checklist to make sure you have all the necessary documents and haven't missed a step! You can apply for the benefit through your CRA My Account, the online application form or by phone.

Get more information about the one-time top-up and learn about other tax credits and benefits for individuals on the CRA website.

Food Secure Canada: Improving Equitable Access to Sustainable Food

In 2019, Food Secure Canada (FSC) published its "Sustainable Consumption for All" research report which explored barriers to sustainable food consumption in Canada. This fall, FSC completed a refresher report which revisits the topic with a COVID-19 lens. This updated research builds on the 2019 report and demonstrates that access to sustainable food is more important than ever before.

FSC received funding from the Office of Consumer Affairs' Contributions Program for Non-Profit Consumer and Voluntary Organizations to complete both rounds of research and produce the associated reports.

Consumer news spotlight:

News release – CRTC rejects Telus' request to charge credit card processing fee for regulated home telephone services

Find more consumer-related information from the Government of Canada on the News for consumers page.