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Business and consumer interests discuss consumer protection laws

Most people want businesses and consumers to be protected from fraud under the law. In Alberta, the government is seeking feedback on changes to consumer protection laws in the province. Albertans can offer their opinion on fifteen consumer protection topics through an online survey, including door-to-door sales, warranties, debt collection and truth in pricing. Public information sessions will also be held to better understand business interests and consumer concerns.

Currently, consumer protections in Alberta stem from the Fair Trading Act. Small adjustments have been made to the Act over time, such as the banning of door-to-door energy equipment sales earlier this year. However, major revisions have not taken place for almost twenty years.

One goal of the public inquiry is to find out how well Alberta residents understand their current rights and to gauge their interest in changes. They also wish to help business interests through regulating competitors who are involved in unethical behaviour. The public open houses will encourage discussion on how industry trends, such as the sharing economy and surge pricing, have complicated many issues laid out in previous legislation.

Business owners have an opportunity to be involved in these discussions as the Alberta government has shared that it wishes to hear from anyone with a interest in consumer protection issues. Many business owners may also wish to take this opportunity better understand the current laws in place and the legal implications of any considerations being made by the government. An Alberta lawyer with experience in these matters is a great resource for any such questions or concerns.

Source: CBC News, "Possible changes to Alberta's consumer protection law up for discussion at Calgary open house", Sept. 8, 2017

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