THE OFFICE DE LA PROTECTION DU CONSOMMATEUR: ITS' ROLES
Consumer protection officers
Consumer protection officers answer consumers' questions, refer them to other organizations if necessary, advise them, warn them, provide information and clarify ambiguous situations by putting sections of legislation governed by the Office de la protection du consommateur into lay terms.
The Office and consumers
Each year, the Office de la protection du consommateur receives more than 250,000 information requests and forwarded more than 16 000 complaint forms.
The Office and consumer associations
Consumer associations have been the Officer's closest allies. It subsidizes about forty of them every year. They see that all consumers are more effectively covered and are better placed to directly support client groups that are more difficult to reach, for instance, economically disadvantaged citizens and new arrivals. These associations also promote their own files, such as budget planning information sessions. The Office and the associations generally work together on issues affecting many consumers, for example, the bankruptcy of Canada 3000.
The Office and merchants
The Office de la protection du consommateur plays a key information and awareness role where businesses are concerned. The Office works to promote out-of-court settlements using preventive means, stepping up negotiations and meetings and sending business letters to inform merchants of their obligations. When permit renewal is a problem, for example, it may also summon merchants to a hearing