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Bill 141 : the CACQ and Option consumers defend the role of advisors

by

Justine Montminy

January 17, 2018 11:30

Photo : Freepik

The Coalition of associations of consommateurs du Québec (CACQ) and Option consommateurs will present today and tomorrow at the national Assembly of Quebec for their proposed redevelopments of bill 141. Just after the unveiling of the bill, Option consumers had become referred to as a » back-unacceptable for the protection of the consumer «.

During a press conference, the two associations have expressed their concerns and reiterated that the bill represented a » deterioration of the protection of consumers «.

Elimination of the advisory role

Among the points mentioned in the two briefs submitted by Option consommateurs and the Coalition, the elimination of the term «counsel» in the draft law concern the two organizations. «We fear that the elimination of the role of the board «, says Me Annik Bélanger-Krams, a lawyer for Option consommateurs. The group reminds that the role of councillors is to protect the consumer, and fears that the situation opens the door further to sellers.

«A certified representative has a reputation to keep. Its purpose is to provide advice. He has duties of competence and information. He must not place himself in a conflict of interest and must put the interest of the client ahead of his own. If the council is given by a seller, for example, and a problem occurs, it is the company that is going to take, » adds the lawyer.

Collection of information by a person not competent

Currently, the representatives certified have to collect the information of the clients personally to identify their requirements. If bill 141 is adopted, the representatives will be able to ask a third party to do it for them. «This means that this information may be collected by a person who is not competent and that is not enough framed «, worries Me Bélanger-Krams.

Option Consumers, and the Coalition also denounce the lack of protection provided for in the sale of online insurance. The project of act 141 requires that a firm be able to distribute insurance products online as long as there are a certified representative in the team.

«If the firm has 50 employees, that would mean that there could be 49 vendors for a single representative «, explain to Me Bélanger-Krams. The organizations add that the consumer who buys an insurance product is vulnerable. Option consommateurs believes that some insurance products are too complex to be sold online.

Abolition of the Rooms

The organizations also said that the possible abolition of the Chamber of damage insurance and of the Chambre de la sécurité financière. The project of act 141 is to integrate their activities with those of thefinancial markets Authority, citing the «dual supervision» as the main reason for abolition. «We don’t see this as a double framing, but rather as a mentoring add-on «, explain to Me Bélanger-Krams.

The groups fear that the change leads to the weakening of the supervision of the representatives for the benefit of the supervision of the firms. They also denounce the idea that a body has as a mandate to monitor both companies and professionals.

Bill 141 also explains that the presence of the two Rooms made the public confused. «We are working with consumers every day, and this problem has never been reported «, refutes the lawyer.

Two memories

Option consommateurs and the Coalition have presented two papers different offering each of their recommendations. The memory of CACQ will be presented today to the national Assembly. Written by Jacques St-Armand, analyst of the CACQ, it is over 150 pages and is titled » Spider in the morning, sorrow : bill 141, and the protection of consumers «. Indeed, the document makes an analogy imaged between the draft law presented by the government and a spider that weaves slowly on his canvas. The memory concludes with this sentence : «The morning has made us sad. But we are confident that, by the evening, we will have found grounds for hope «.

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