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2023 Provincial Pre-Budget Consultations - Comments fromOption consommateurs

To help consumers cope with skyrocketing housing and food expenses, Option consommateurs is proposing, as part of the 2023 pre-budget consultations, a series of measures to enhance certain government allowances and ensure better access to housing (section 1).

In addition, we are taking advantage of these consultations to propose various measures to strengthen consumer rights and support advocacy groups in Quebec (section 2), and to better set electricity rates (section 3).

Our recommendations

Consumer budgets :

  • Improve the solidarity tax credit and raise the eligibility ceiling;
  • Extend access to housing benefit to people aged 50 and under;
  • Put forward an emergency plan to develop new social housing and maintain low-cost housing;
  • Support community property projects and public programs to support the purchase of affordable housing;
  • Set up a summit on access to housing and home ownership;

Consumer rights :

  • Better control of practices designed to conceal price increases;
  • To enshrine in law that an online intermediary is jointly and severally liable for the proper performance of contracts with the end service provider;
  • Review the legislative framework for online retailers and itinerant sales contracts;
  • Amend the Consumer Protection Act to prohibit programmed obsolescence and include a right to reparability;
  • Increase funding for the Commission d'accès à l'information and the Office de la protection du consommateur, and give the latter the power to obtain, in criminal proceedings, civil compensation for consumers who are victims of an illegal practice;
  • Increase annual financial support for the SACAIS program and introduce a permanent 25% wage subsidy for advocacy organizations.
  • Support organizations financially and not impose excessive regulatory or administrative barriers in implementing Act 26.
  • Make the 25% permanent salary subsidy for community organizations permanent.

Energy :

  • Give the Régie de l'énergie back the power to set electricity rates annually, and temporarily freeze rates while a new rate case is conducted.