Consumer protection rights in Canada in the context of electronic commerce


Roger Tassé, O.C., Q.C., Kathleen Lemieux,


Office of Consumer Affairs




The growth of electronic commerce to the benefit of both business and consumers is, in important respects, dependent upon the adequacy of the rules and principles of contract law that apply to consumer transactions over the Internet. Current consumer protection legislation was enacted in the 1960s and 1970s as a response to imbalances in the marketplace which concerned the consumer at that time. Electronic commerce is changing the way consumers are relating to businesses. Consumers are now provided with more opportunities to access a greater variety of goods and services at lower prices as they discover the borderless virtual marketplace. The reality of open networks and the prospect of widespread electronic commerce as a medium of choice for the consumer begs the question of whether current legislation is adequate to meet the basic needs of the online consumer across Canada. This report attempts to answer this question and proposes options and recommendations to address the challenges faced by online consumers.

This document is available in the following language(s):

Third-Party Information Liability Disclaimer

Some of the information on this Web page has been provided by external sources. The Government of Canada is not responsible for the accuracy, reliability or currency of the information supplied by external sources. Users wishing to rely upon this information should consult directly with the source of the information. Content provided by external sources is not subject to official languages, privacy and accessibility requirements.

English and French

Contact information

Office of Consumer Affairs
Industry Canada
C.D. Howe Building
235 Queen Street, 2nd Floor, West Tower
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0H5
(613) 952-2534
(613) 952-6927

Source: Consumer Policy Research Database

Date Modified: