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Our Success Stories

Making Ontario’s Legal System More Consumer Friendly


In Ontario, it was previously prohibited for legal documents to be virtually commissioned, or notarized online. At the end of 2019, the Ontario Government asked for consultation on the allowance of both virtual commissioning, and online notarization. In January of 2020, the Province announced changes to the Notaries Act, specifically legalizing both changes to Ontario’s legal system. In the announcement, Ontario’s Attorney General Doug Downey quoted the Consumer Choice Center’s David Clement. Specifically, he quoted the following:

“Allowing for virtual commissioning and notarizing is a positive step for those using legal services. Permitting virtual commissioning and notarizing ultimately makes the system more consumer friendly and more responsive. From a consumer standpoint, this is a welcomed change.”

David Clement, North American Affairs Manager, Consumer Choice Center

The Consumer Choice Center is pleased with Ontario’s commitment to making commissioning and notarization more consumer friendly. 

Big Victory for Cannabis Consumers in Ontario

The Issue

In 2017, the Ontario Liberal government proposed to slowly roll out government owned, and government run, cannabis stores. Under that plan there would be no private retail at all for cannabis in Ontario, making the market highly regulated and unfairly funded by citizens.

The CCC’s Response

In the 2018 general election, the Liberals were swept from power. The Consumer Choice Center took this opportunity to showcase to the new Conservative government the issues and risks for consumers if the government were to only allow for government owned cannabis retail outlets. David Clement, our North America Manager, wrote an op-ed in the Globe and Mail, and did several media appearances arguing that the government to change course, and go with a private, uncapped, retail market for cannabis sales.

The Impact

As a result, David Clement was invited by the government to testify on the regulations in front of the legislatures’ social committee. In that testimony, he passionately advocated for private uncapped retail and its benefits for consumers.

As a result, David Clement was invited by the government to testify on the regulations in front of the legislatures’ social committee. In that testimony, he passionately advocated for private uncapped retail and its benefits for consumers.

The Attorney General of Ontario then announced on the floor of the legislature that the province would be moving forward with a private, uncapped, retail market for cannabis. The Attorney General quoted our North America Affairs Manager, David Clement, and the work of the Consumer Choice Center, in the justification for going with the uncapped model.

There were a few hiccups, and the Government backtracked a bit during this process. They started with a lottery process to give out licenses for retail stores. We were once again doing media appearances asking for the government to keep their word, and move forward with their original plan. We were published in the Globe and Mail saying the government should end the lottery system.

Finally, at the end of 2019, the government announced that as of January 1, 2020, they would be moving forward with an uncapped private system.

To this day, the Consumer Choice Center remains vigilant of the government and the Ontario Province in order to protect and defend consumers’ choice and the free market.

As a result, David Clement was invited by the government to testify on the regulations in front of the legislatures’ social committee. In that testimony, he passionately advocated for private uncapped retail and its benefits for consumers.

The Attorney General of Ontario then announced on the floor of the legislature, that the province would be moving forward with a private, uncapped, retail market for cannabis. The Attorney General quoted our North America Affairs Manager, David Clement, and the work of the Consumer Choice Center, in the justification for going with the uncapped model.

There were a few hiccups, and the Government backtracked a bit during this process. They started with a lottery process to give out licenses for retail stores. We were once again doing media appearances asking for the government to keep their word, and move forward with their original plan. We were published at the Globe and Mail saying the government should end the lottery system.

Finally, at the end of 2019, the government announced that as of January 1, 2020, they would be moving forward with an uncapped private system.

To this day, the Consumer Choice Center remains vigilant of the government and the Ontario Province in order to protect and defend consumers’ choice and the free market.

Two big victories for consumer choice and modernized alcohol policy

The warm months are delivering some great news when it comes to increased consumer choice and modernized alcohol policy across North America.

ONTARIO

The first success story comes from the Canadian province of Ontario, where Premier Doug Ford has announced the end of the province’s exclusive contract with The Beer Store, the beer monopoly.

When announcing the policy, Ontario Finance Minister Victor Fedeli quoted the words of Consumer Choice Center North American Affairs Manager David Clement, who has contributed to the debate to open up beer sales across the province.

This positive move comes on the same day the government announced it would be expanding alcohol sales in LCBO stores across the province, after which Clement says “consumers across the province would appreciate more access to alcoholic drinks over the summer months.

The Consumer Choice Center played a pivotal role is shaping the policy debate in favor of modernized alcohol policy and consumer choice, and will continue to do so across the country.

“Today’s alcohol announcement is a step in the right direction,” said David Clement. “The move helps underserved regions, while maxing out the amount of grocery stores allowed under the Master Framework Agreement (MFA). It is positive to see these changes while the province undergoes the process of scrapping the MFA and allowing for alcohol sales in convenience stores.”

“We are hopeful that the announcement could increase access over the summer months, which would definitely be appreciated by consumers province-wide.” said Clement.

NORTH CAROLINA

Following the positive vibes from the Great White North, the state of North Carolina also had a major alcohol policy modernization pass.

Last Thursday Gov. Roy Cooper signed House Bill 363, the Craft Beer Distribution and Modernization Act. The law will allow craft brewers to self-distribute more than twice was allowed previously without a wholesaler.

That measure will allow breweries to expand and ship more product across the state, giving North Carolina consumers greater access to their favorite craft brews.

I have written about this topic for the Charlotte Observer (here and here) and been interviewed about it on the radio on the Joe Catenacci Show and the Chad Adams Show.

Much like above, there is still a lot that needs to be done to have a true modern alcohol policy in the Tar Heel State. Ending the state’s monopoly of ABC stores (that sell liquor) would be prime, and the next would be allowing distilleries to offer and sell their products on site and for delivery.

Regardless, these are two big victories for consumer choice and modernized alcohol policy, giving consumers more of a say, more choice, and better options!

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