Updating the MVDA

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Frank Notte. PHOTO TADA

Making it simpler for dealers to conduct transactions.

Remember the year 2002? Canada defeated the USA to win gold in men’s hockey at the Salt Lake City Olympics.

George W. Bush was the U.S. President, and the first iPhone was still five years away from coming to market.

This was also the year when the current Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA)—the main piece of legislation affecting new car dealers in Ontario—was passed at Queen’s Park.

Consultation paper

That’s why the TADA was very pleased the Ontario Government issued a Consultation Paper on potential changes to the MVDA in August of 2021. It shows an interest by government to hear from stakeholders like the TADA, on legislative changes we believe should be made.

We believe the TADA’s intense and focused advocacy over the years has resulted in the Government’s decision to consult on potential changes to the MVDA.

Our top legislative priority is to amend the MVDA and allow vehicles sales to occur offsite from a dealership’s fixed address.

Consumer demand for dealing offsite has increased over the years. But the pandemic highlighted the need for dealers to have more legal flexibility when transacting business—particularly when showrooms were forced to close in April 2020 due to the pandemic.

With showrooms closed, dealers were not able to obtain physical signatures required by some financial institutions. This caused much hardship for dealers and consumers.

Off-site transactions

We believe the law should permit an off-site transaction if both the consumer and dealer agree to do so. For example, a consumer is not forced to physically be in a real estate agent’s office when putting on offer on a home. In fact, they may be in the seller’s home, at the local coffee shop or halfway around the world. Why should buying a vehicle be any different?

The TADA has made other recommendations as the Province considers changes to the MVDA:

  • Maintaining the no-cooling off period for vehicle sales.
  • Closing the loophole for certain brokers and car buying services to be exempt from the MVDA. Doing so would force these businesses to become OMVIC registrants and abide by the Code of Ethics.
  • Cutting red tape by extending the time period to submit warranty documentation from 7 to 30 days.
  • Increasing fines for curbsiders.

Thank you to those dealers who sent in their own comments and suggestions.

Creating a groundswell of grassroots support increases our chances to see the legislative changes we want.

Although the consultation period officially ended on September 17th, 2021, the TADA has and will continue lobbying Ministers and MPPs to make sure your voice is heard at Queen’s Park.

Frank Notte is Director of Government Relations for the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association, representing over 1,000 new car dealers in Ontario. You can reach him at [email protected].



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