Canada: Ontario Considering Further Changes To Door-To-Door Agreements And Other Consumer Protection Amendments

Last Updated: July 1 2019
Article by Suhuyini Abudulai

On June 12, 2019, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (the Ministry) released a consultation paper "The Consumer Protection Act: Direct Selling in Consumers' Homes," proposing further changes to the direct selling regime under the Consumer Protection Act (Ontario) (the Act). The nature of the changes proposed may impact businesses that do not engage in door-to-door sales and otherwise contract with consumers.

Industry members and other stakeholders must provide comments to the Ministry by July 29, 2019. Once the consultation process has ended, it is anticipated that further amendments will be made to the Act in respect of direct agreements for restricted products or services.

Scope of Consultation

Since 2014, the Act has been amended to address direct agreements (i.e., door-to-door agreements) for the supply of HVAC products. The most recent and stringent amendments became law on March 1, 2018, of which we previously reported on in our e-lert " New Door-to-Door Restrictions in Ontario."

Pursuant to the 2018 amendments to the Act, direct agreements for restricted products or services (i.e., HVAC) may only be entered into in limited circumstances, including where a consumer has initiated contact with a business or where there is an existing direct agreement in place between the business and the consumer. Additionally, unsolicited door-to-door sales are prohibited even where an existing agreement is in place.

As a result of feedback from industry members about the overly restrictive nature of the 2018 amendments, the Ministry is seeking feedback on proposed amendments to the Act that would:

  • Reduce the burden and barriers for businesses that provide products and services to consumers when the consumer initiates contact
  • Level the playing field by increasing consumer protection to deter non-compliant businesses by providing consumers with additional time to rescind their agreements and requiring notice to consumers of assignments/transfers of their agreements to other businesses
  • Strengthen enforcement powers to target businesses that cause the most harm to consumers

Proposed Amendments

Clarifying "Consumer-Initiated"

Currently under the Act, a permitted circumstance where a direct agreement for a restricted product or service can be entered into is where the consumer initiates contact. Consumer-initiated requires the consumer to initiate contact with the business and invite the business to attend the consumer's home for the purpose of selling, leasing or contracting for a restricted product or service.

Industry members have raised concerns that the consumer-initiated circumstance is restrictive in circumstances where a consumer has contacted a business to attend the consumer's home for a purpose other than entering into a direct agreement. For example, the business is asked to attend the home to repair a product, but, the product may need to be replaced. Currently, the Act does not permit the business to offer the consumer a replacement product or enter into a new direct agreement for the product. The business would have to leave the home and wait for the consumer to contact the business and specifically invite the business to their home to enter into an agreement to replace the product.

The consultation paper proposes to address this restriction by clarifying that a business may solicit for or enter into a direct agreement for a restricted product or service if the consumer has invited the business to attend the consumer's home and one or more of the following conditions are met:

  • The consumer invited the business to the consumer's home to enter into an agreement for a restricted product or service
  • The business is attending the consumer's home as part of an ongoing agreement related to a restricted product or service
  • The consumer asked the business to attend the consumer's home to enter into an agreement for the service of a restricted product (e.g., repair or maintenance)
  • The product has been prohibited or restricted from use by a person authorized by law

Permitting Business-Initiated Agreements

The Act currently prohibits a business from cold-calling a consumer to contract for a restricted product or service unless there is an existing agreement in place with the consumer for a restricted product or service (as set out in our e-lert " New Door-to-Door Restrictions in Ontario"). The consultation paper proposes to expand this exemption to apply to businesses that have an existing business relationship in place for a restricted product or service. An existing business relationship would include a work or purchase order, a written agreement that is no longer in effect and records indicating proof of payment.

The consultation paper also proposes removing the requirement for a business with an existing relationship with consumers (as set out in our e-lert " New Door-to-Door Restrictions in Ontario") to obtain advance consent from a consumer to offer a restricted product or service before attending a consumer's home.

Expanding Rescission Rights for Unfair Practices

Unfair practices (e.g., false, misleading or deceptive representations) are prohibited under the Act and, on contravention by a business, a consumer can (in addition to other remedies) rescind the relevant agreement by providing notice to the business within one year of entering into the agreement. The consultation paper proposes to extend the notice period, by allowing consumers to provide notice of rescission within one year of having discovered that the business has engaged in an unfair practice. This change would not be limited to direct agreements and would impact other types of consumer agreements subject to the Act.

Notice of Assignment

The consultation paper proposes amendments to the Act to require a business to provide consumers with notice of any assignment of the relevant agreement. Currently, the Act does not mandate such notice. This proposed amendment does not appear to be limited to direct agreements and may have implications for other types of agreements entered into with consumers.

Enforcement Provisions

The consultation paper proposes amendments to the enforcement provisions of the Act to:

  • Clarify the powers of the Director of the Ministry to issue compliance orders to businesses to comply with the Act, including ordering a business to provide a consumer with a refund where the consumer is so entitled.
  • Expressly require businesses to ensure that agreements related to a cancelled agreement for a restricted product or service can no longer be enforced (and security registrations are discharged). Currently under the Act, where an agreement for a restricted product or service is cancelled, all related agreements are cancelled (e.g., a credit agreement) as if they never existed.
  • Establish administrative penalties (i.e., monetary penalties) for certain provisions of the Act. For certainty, the introduction of administrative monetary penalties would not be limited to direct agreements. The Ministry would further consult with the public on the development of an administrative penalty regime.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions