The Office de la protection du consommateur was established in 1971 with the coming into force of the Consumer Protection Act.

Important dates in the history of the Office

1962

Establishment of the Service du budget familial, offered to unionized CSN workers.

1965

Establishment of the first home economics cooperative associations (ACEF).

1970

ACEFs merge into a single federation, the FACEF.

1971

Establishment of the Office de la protection du consommateur and adoption of the Consumer Protection Act.

1973

Release of Protégez-Vous magazine (in French only) which conducts comparative testing on products and services.

1974

Adoption of the Travel Agents Act whose application is entrusted to the Office in 1979.

Establishment of the Association des consommateurs du Québec (ACQ).

1977

The FACEF splits up and the Fédération nationale des associations de consommateurs du Québec (FNACQ) is established.

1978

Amendments to the Consumer Protection Act:

  • new provisions governing itinerant sales and credit contracts, sales and repair of automobiles and household appliances, leasing of services, warranties and business practices;
  • new provision prohibiting commercial advertising directed at persons under 13 years of age;
  • establishment of certain rules of proof and procedure required to apply the Act and recourse options available to consumers;
  • definition of offences against the Act and penalties that apply to offenders;
  • establishment of categories of businesses requiring a permit or licence to operate, and definition of the rules regarding the issuance of such permits or licences.

The Office becomes an independent body: it is no longer under the authority of a ministry of the Government of Québec.

Adoption of the Act respecting the class action and creation of the Fonds d'aide aux recours collectifs (now called the Fonds d'aide aux actions collectives).

1979 Adoption of the

Act respecting the collection of certain debts.

1983 Adoption of the

The ACEF - Centre becomes Option consommateurs.

1986 Adoption of the

First-time participation by Québec at an international consumer affairs event at the world congress of the Organization of Consumers Unions (now called Consumers International), in New York.

1987 Adoption of the

Act respecting prearranged funeral services and sepultures.

1989

Irwin Toy Ltd. v. Québec. Judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada confirms the legality of prohibiting advertising directed at children under 13 years of age as stipulated under the Consumer Protection Act.

1991

Introduction of protection measures to the Consumer Protection Act regarding long-term lease contracts.

1992

Establishment of the Coalition des associations de consommateurs du Québec (CACQ).

1999

Merger between the ACQ and Option consommateurs.

2001

Management of Protégez-Vous magazine is transferred to a non-profit organization: Les Éditions Protégez-Vous.

Adoption by the Québec Conseil des ministres of the Order in Council respecting the Policy on accurate pricing for merchants who use optical scanner technology.

Establishment of the Union des consommateurs, as a result of the merger between the FACEF and Action Réseau Consommateur (formerly the FNACQ).

2003-2004

Seal of approval granted by the Institut d’administration publique du Québec to the Office for its merchant search tool, now known as Get information about a merchant.

Establishment of the consumer protection awards, now known as the Office de la protection du consommateur Awards (in French only).

2004

Establishment of the Compensation fund for customers of travel agents.

2007

Adoption of the amendments made in 2006 to the Consumer Protection Act and the Act respecting the collection of certain debts.

These amendments pertain to:

  • the establishment of a protection plan for distance contracts concluded by telephone, by mail or on the Internet;
  • the prohibition of mandatory arbitration clauses;
  • the update of the list of household appliances covered under Division 5 (Repair of household appliances) of the Consumer Protection Act;
  • additional protection regarding advertising and business practices.

Adoption of an Order in Council for new regulations regarding the sale of used automobiles.

2008-2009

The Office receives an Achievement in Consumer Education award from the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators for its brochure about children and advertising entitled Vos enfants et la pub, designed in collaboration with Les Éditions Protégez-Vous.

2010

Introduction of new clauses to the Consumer Protection Act regarding:

  • telecommunication service contracts;
  • advertised price of a good or service;
  • inequitable clauses in contracts;
  • prepaid cards (such as gift cards);
  • extended warranties (additional coverage warranties);
  • financial protection of consumers in the travel sector;
  • professional certification of travel counsellors.
 
2012 Application of the Act to prohibit the resale of tickets at a price above that announced by the authorized vendor. This act amends the Consumer Protection Act.
2015

Transfer of the responsibility for issuing road vehicle dealer’s and recycler’s licences, from the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) to the president of the Office de la protection du consommateur.

2016

Online launch of a quick and simple tool consumers and merchants can use free of charge to resolve a dispute between them: the Platform to Assist in the Resolution of Litigation Electronically (PARLe).

2017

Passage of the An Act mainly to modernize rules relating to consumer credit and to regulate debt settlement service contracts, high-cost credit contracts and loyalty programs.

Furthermore, this bill:

  • enhances the Compensation Fund for Customers of Travel Agents covering;
  • obliges collection agent representatives to hold a certificate issued by the Office de la protection du consommateur;
  • adjusts the consumer protection rules that apply to distance contracts (concluded online or by telephone, among other means).

These provisions come into force gradually until 2019.

2018

Revision of the rules in terms of itinerant sales and increase of the security amounts provided by itinerant merchants and physical fitness studio operators.

2018

Revision of the rules governing itinerant sales and increase in the financial protection (security amounts) provided by itinerant merchants and physical fitness studio operators.

Adoption of the Act to amend various legislative provisions concerning consumer protection.

This Act includes measures regarding:

  • the resale of event tickets;
  • the funeral and sepulture goods and services;
  • the time share accommodation contracts;
  • the variable credit offers (credit cards and lines of credit) in pre-university establishments.

The office receives the Initiatives numériques award at the Prix d'excellence - Institut d'administration publique du Québec award ceremony for its PARLe online mediation tool.

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The Office and its place in government through time

1971 Establishment of the Office de la protection du consommateur within the Québec Department of Consumer Affairs, Cooperatives and Financial Institutions.
1978 The Office becomes an independent entity under the control of the Minister responsible for Housing and Consumer Protection.
1985 The Office becomes the responsibility of the Québec Justice Minister.
1995 The Office comes under the control of the Minister responsible for Relations with the Citizens, who will become the Minister of Relations with the Citizens and Immigration.
2004 The Office becomes the responsibility of the Québec Justice Minister.
2017 The Office becomes the responsibility of the Minister responsible for Consumer Protection and for Housing.
2018 The Office becomes the responsibility of the Québec Justice Minister.

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Presidents of the Office, both past and present

Year President
February 2019 to date Ms. Marie-Claude Champoux
May 2014 to February 2019 Ms. Ginette Galarneau
December 2007 to May 2014 Mr. Louis Borgeat
August 2004 to November 2007 Mr. Yvan Turcotte
September 2002 to July 2004 Mr. Maurice Boisvert
July 1997 to September 2002 Ms. Nicole Fontaine
December 1990 to July 1997 Ms. Marie Bédard
July 1981 to December 1990 Mr. Gilles Moreau
August 1975 to July 1981 Mr. Pierre B. Meunier
June and July 1975 Mr. Roger Lequy
January 1973 to May 1975 Ms. Niquette Delage
July 1971 to December 1972

Mr. J.-Albert Gagnon

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Last update : May 3, 2019

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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.