Today I rise to speak to an important issue in my riding of Etobicoke Centre, as well as across Ontario. Every month I hold a seniors advisory group meeting. At these meetings I hear about the many issues that impact seniors. One of the issues that I hear about the most is the issue of door-to-door sales. Through speaking with my constituents I learned that Ontarians, particularly vulnerable individuals such as seniors, continue to receive unwanted sales offers at their doors. These marketers often use misleading and aggressive high-pressure sales tactics to entice people into contracts that take advantage of consumers. Under the guise of saving consumers money, many dishonest salespeople dupe consumers into contracts that are more expensive than the industry standards, have harsh cancellation fees, and provide inferior products and services that don't work or that don't perform as advertised.
While this an issue that cuts across all ages, it's alarming to me to see how often door-to-door sellers target those who may be more vulnerable. That is why today I will be introducing a private member's bill. The bill being tabled today is the culmination of months of consultation and research within my riding and with province-wide stakeholders.
If passed, the bill will ban the sale, lease or rent of air conditioners, water heaters, furnaces and water treatment devices. It would also allow the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to add more products to the list, if necessary.
I have heard from too many seniors and concerned constituents who have been taken advantage of by coercive and misleading salespeople, right on their own doorsteps, right in their own home. It is beyond reprehensible that some organizations have a business that makes money taking advantage of vulnerable people. We must take action to protect Ontarians and end this predatory practice.
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