On February 8, 2012 I sent an e-mail to Dalton McGunity, Premier of Ontario (you can read about it in my post titled Doug Hoyes Asks Dalton McGuinty to stop Unethical Debt Settlement Companies). Today, I got a response. First, some background.
There are a number of debt consultants that are operating in Ontario, and, in my opinion, they are breaking the law. For example, there are American companies that do all of their debt negotiation work in the United States, which is illegal. The Collection Agencies Act of Ontario requires all debt negotiators to be residents of Ontario. There are also some Canadian companies that charge huge up front fees, and then do nothing. So, I would like the government of Ontario to either prevent companies from charging huge up front fees and doing nothing (similar to what they have now done in Alberta and Manitoba) or at the very least enforce the existing laws requiring debt negotiators to be residents of Ontario. I don't actually expect the government to pass any new laws, but I thought I would send an e-mail to see if at least the Premier would think about enforcing the existing rules.
Today, exactly three weeks after my e-mail, I got this response:
Thanks for your online message about credit counselling, debt settlement and consumer protection. Your views and concerns are important to me, and I appreciate your taking the time to share them.
Helping Ontario consumers make informed choices is part of our government’s commitments to educate, protect and serve Ontarians by ensuring a fair and safe marketplace.
As the issues you have raised fall within the area of responsibility of my colleague the Honourable Margarett Best, Minister of Consumer Services, I’ve passed along a copy of your message to her for her information. I trust that the minister will also give your views her careful consideration.
Thanks again for contacting me. Please accept my best wishes.
Premier of Ontario
c: The Honourable Margarett Best
So there you go. Apparently my views are important to the Premier, so he has passed on my concerns to the Minister responsible for these matters.
I look forward to discussing this with Ms. Best, and if we correspond or speak, I will report back, so stay tuned.