Our enforcement tools
The Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act and the Motion Picture Act provide a variety of enforcement tools that we can use if a violation occurs under these laws. If a business doesn’t voluntarily comply with their obligations, we use these tools in a progressive manner depending on the severity, depth or repetitive nature of the violation.
We publish the results of our enforcement actions online. Depending on the severity of the issue and if it’s in the public interest, we may also share information more publicly (for example in a media release).
Read our policy for publishing our licensing and enforcement actions.
Explore our recent enforcement actions.
Read the laws that we enforce.
We have the authority to conduct inspections to determine compliance with the legislation. A person must not obstruct, hinder or interfere with an investigation or supply false or misleading information to our inspectors or investigators.
For the purposes of an inspection, we have the same powers that the Supreme Court has for the trial of civil actions. We may summon and compel witnesses to give evidence under oath and/or produce records. If a person fails to comply with our summons, they may face further actions as outlined in the Act.
Read the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, sections 150 and 151.
We work with all of our regulated businesses to educate them on their responsibilities under the laws and regulation and how to meet these obligations.
We routinely meet with business owners to discuss compliance-related issues and complaints. If warranted, we may send warning letters to business owners.
Property freezing orders
We have the authority to freeze the property of a person or business if we believe it will protect their customers.
Undertakings (voluntary agreements)
We work with businesses to get voluntary compliance through education and awareness. If we have reason to believe that a person is violating, is about to violate or has violated any of the laws we oversee, we may accept a written undertaking (a voluntary agreement) that has the terms and conditions appropriate for the violation.
Consumer restitution (such as refunds) can also be included in an undertaking.
If a business does not voluntarily comply with the law, we may issue a compliance order, which forces the business to comply. We can order restitution (such as refunds) to consumers through a compliance order.
If we file a compliance order in the Supreme Court of BC, it is enforceable as an order of the court.
Direct Sales Prohibitions
If a business is engaging in direct sales and we believe that their conduct is against the public interest or they have violated the law, we can order them to stop operating, temporarily or permanently, with a Direct Sales Prohibition.
We have the authority to sue on our own behalf, on behalf of consumers in general or on behalf of a certain group of consumers.