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Statutory regulation of unfair business practices in Saskatchewan: Possibilities and pitfalls

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  • Introduction: The introduction in March 1996 of the bill leading to the enactment of the Saskatchewan Consumer Protection Act came as something of a surprise, at least to members of the academic legal community and presumably to others as well. The legislation establishes a comprehensive scheme of business practices regulation comprising Part II of the CPA, consolidated with the existing consumer protection legislation embodied in what was then the Consumer Products Warranties Act and the Unsolicited Goods and Credit Cards Act, now appearing as Parts III and IV of the CPA respectively. The latter statutes were enacted in the 1970s, the halcyon era of consumer protection law. Although a bill on trade practices was also proposed in 1976, it was never adopted. Since the 1970s, consumer law activism has waned in most Canadian jurisdictions to the point of virtual invisibility. The renewal of interest in the Saskatchewan legislature was thus an unexpected aberration from the current trend in this area. In view of the very significant commitment of public funding that would be required to fully realize its comprehensive scheme of consumer protection, it remains to be seen whether the CPA will have a significant practical impact. Its administrative remedies and quasi-criminal sanctions depend on direct funding for civil service personnel and support. The private remedies contemplated will rarely be invoked until such time as Saskatchewan consumers are apprised of their statutory rights through a comprehensive public awareness and education campaign. Under the current conditions of government fiscal restraint, meaningful implementation of the new legislation is left largely to the endeavours of an informed bar and bench.

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    Article (Published)
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    © 1999 Tamara M. Buckwold et al. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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    • Buckwold, T. M. (1999). Statutory regulation of unfair business practices in Saskatchewan: Possibilities and pitfalls. Saskatchewan Law Review 62(1), 45-84. Retrieved from
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