Toronto, Ontario – Metro Convention Centre – August 12, 2016 – 4:30pm
During the World Fitness Expo in Toronto, Ontario, on August 12, 2016, at 4:30pm, Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) has sponsored Barbara Allan, the Program Manager from the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, to speak at the panel presentation on behalf of FIC.
This portion of the presentation will inform fitness club owners, operators, and trainers about their rights and obligations under the Consumer Protection Act and explain what to expect if their operations are inspected by the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. Helpful information will be reviewed about contract requirements, cancellation rights, and unfair practices in accordance with Ontario consumer protection laws. This portion of the session will help owners and operators understand the audit inspection process and how to run a fair and better business.
This session is FREE for all FIC members. As a member of FIC, if you attend the Canadian Industry Forum, you will also receive FREE entry to the World Fitness Expo trade show hall. Please register as an attendee as soon as possible by emailing FIC’s Executive Director, Trisha Sarker, at email@example.com.
If you wish to attend the Expo with a full registration, FIC members are eligible to receive $50 off registration costs by using the discount code FIC16. Please visit http://www.worldfitnessexpo.com/toronto to register.
Why is this important?
Since February 2016, the Ontario government has been contacting fitness clubs and checking to see if their membership application/contract is consistent with the consumer protection laws. This is due to the Ontario Ministry receiving inspection rights on various facilities – fitness clubs being one of them. In the past, cases of consumer complaints towards the fitness industry have been a public issue, and as a result, the Ministry’s inspection process has begun with fitness facilities.
In Ontario, Consumer Protection Inspectors now have the power to inspect businesses under the Consumer Protection Act. An inspector may attend a fitness facility to conduct an inspection, to check for compliance with legal requirements (ie., contracts disclosures). After the inspection is complete, the inspector may issue a warning letter, outlining any violations observed at the time of the inspection, and request that the business bring the items into compliance within a specific timeframe, usually 30 days. If this warning letter is not complied with, further compliance actions may be undertaken, including the issuance of an order. However, knowing and complying by the consumer protection laws ahead of time will save your club(s) from a difficult inspection, and ensure that everything runs smoothly.
FIC has been working with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to develop a plan to help owners and operators obtain the knowledge they need about contract disclosures and how to deal with the Licence Appeal Tribunal processes.
Important to Note
It is important to recognize that each province has their own consumer protection laws. So far, Ontario has started the inspection process; however, we believe that other provinces may follow. As a fitness industry provider and professional, it is essential that you follow and comply to the laws associated with your region. For direction and assistance on what laws your club(s) should abide by, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.