September 2023

Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA)

September 2023

In this edition of Consumer Edge, discover the Consumers Council of Canada's (CCC) research report on how Delegated Administrative Authorities (DAAs) manage and enforce consumer protection. Learn about your options when dealing with debt and find out how your bank can support you if you're at risk of defaulting on your mortgage for your principal residence. Lastly, find simple tips on preventing food waste.

Report: Delegated Administrative Authorities and consumer protection

In some industries, like the funeral, motor vehicle and electrical safety industries, there are not-for-profit organizations that manage, and in some cases enforce, certain aspects of your consumer protection and safety on behalf of provincial governments. These organizations are called Delegated Administrative Authorities (DAAs).

For many years, DAAs have been operating in select Canadian provinces and, more recently, the Consumers Council of Canada (CCC) conducted a study to assess how effectively DAAs deliver their consumer protection and public safety mandates.

CCC received funding from the OCA's Contributions Program for Non-Profit Consumer and Voluntary Organizations to complete this research and produce the associated report.

You can also read other research reports for projects funded by the OCA's Program in the Consumer Policy Research Database.

Managing your debt

If you're struggling with past-due bills and you're wondering where to turn to find the right debt solutions, the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB)'s Debt Solutions Portal is a tool you can use to find dependable sources of advice and options to manage your debt.

The OSB has developed new consumer awareness materials as part of their continued efforts to increase awareness about unregulated debt advisors and to help you identify reliable sources of debt assistance.

The OSB's new video on how Licensed Insolvency Trustees can help you navigate financial distress and the web pages below, can assist you with taking back control of your financial situation:

Visit the OSB's Debt Solutions Portal to learn more today.

Protecting yourself from mortgage default

If you're struggling to pay the mortgage on your principal residence, you're not alone. A growing number of Canadians with mortgages are facing financial challenges due to exceptional circumstances, such as the combined effects of a high household debt, an increased cost of living and rapid increases in interest rates.

In response to this growing trend, FCAC published a new guideline outlining the regulatory expectations for federally regulated financial institutions, such as banks, on how they should provide you with tailored support if you're at risk of mortgage default on your principal residence.

To help consumers like you better understand how federally regulated financial institutions can help when you're struggling to pay your mortgage, FCAC has created a new resource on Paying your mortgage when experiencing financial difficulties. The new web page provides information related to the temporary relief options that financial institutions are expected to provide you if you're at risk of a mortgage default.

You can learn more about FCAC's Guideline on Existing Consumer Mortgage Loans in Exceptional Circumstances and its expectations for financial institutions on FCAC's website.

September 29: International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste

It's easy to overlook the impact of food loss and waste on both our environment and our wallets. International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste is a reminder to us all that taking simple steps like these can help prevent food loss and waste:

  • Plan your meals ahead
  • Create shopping lists and buy only what you need.
  • Properly store perishables and use the "first in, first out" approach to ensure older items are consumed before newer ones.
  • When it comes to leftovers, get creative! Transform surplus ingredients into new dishes, or freeze them for later use.

To learn more, visit Health Canada's page on food loss and waste.


Consumer news spotlight:

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