Consumer Impact Assessment
Consulting Canadian Consumer Groups
In addition to using economic studies to support the above analysis, analysts should consider consulting consumers themselves. Public opinion research, surveys or focus groups of individual consumers can provide information to help them work through their assessment. Analysts may also want to search the Office of Consumer Affairs’ Consumer Policy Research Data Base at www.ic.gc.ca/consumer/researchdatabase to find Canadian consumer research studies that may be relevant to their subject area.
There are also numerous consumer groups in Canada with expertise in a wide spectrum of subject matters. Engaging them early in the consultation process can ensure thorough evidence-based input. Appendix B contains a list of some of these consumer groups. Speaking with the head of any particular group about your policy proposal will give a sense of whether the group can provide the information required. Also be sure to check the group’s website for the most up-to-date contact information.
Canadian consumers and consumer advocates are typically not well resourced, and will have a difficult time providing input if not given adequate lead time and resources to do their analysis and make recommendations. Departments and agencies should expect to cover the costs of research, travel, participation in focus groups, and other tasks they may wish consumer groups to carry out to help determine potential consumer impacts.
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