As part of its goal to ensure consumers have competitive prices and product choice, the Competition Act prohibits a number of marketing practices.

  • Misleading advertising occurs when a claim about a product or service is materially false or misleading, in an attempt to persuade the consumer to buy it.
  • Double ticketing occurs when a seller puts two or more prices on a product or service, and the consumer is not charged the lowest price.
  • Pyramid selling is a multilevel marketing plan that uses certain specific deceptive means to obtain money (see also “Multi-Level Marketing and Pyramid Selling Schemes“).
  • Bait and switch occurs when a seller attracts customers by advertising a certain product or service at a bargain price and then persuades the customer to purchase a more expensive item, since the seller does not have reasonable quantities of the advertised item in stock.

Consumers may complain to the Government of Canada about any of these practices even when they have no intention of buying the product. Consumers may contact the Competition Bureau to file a complaint or obtain additional information. When the matter relates to labeling or advertising of food, contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. You may also contact your provincial or territorial consumer affairs office.

You may also complain to Advertising Standards Canada about misleading advertising. This non-governmental body is made up of advertisers, representatives from advertising agencies and the media, and consumers. It discourages false or misleading advertising by its members through codes of conduct.

See also, “Advance Fee Scams,” “Consumer Privacy,” “Contracts,”and “Unfair or Deceptive Business Practices“.

Competition Bureau Canada

Head Office

50 Victoria Street

Gatineau, Quebec  K1A 0C9

Telephone: 819-997-4282
Toll Free: 1-800-348-5358
Phone (TTY): 1-800-642-3844
Fax: 819-997-0324

Websitewww.competitionbureau.gc.ca

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

National Headquarters

1400 Merivale Road

Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0Y9

Telephone: 1-800-442-2342
Telephone: 613-225-2342
Phone (TTY): 1-800-465-7735

Websitewww.inspection.gc.ca

Western Area

1115-57 Avenue NE

Calgary, Alberta  T2E 9B2

Telephone: 403-292-6219
Fax: 403-292-5996

Atlantic Area

1081 Main Street
PO Box 6088

Moncton, New Brunswick  E1C 8R2

Telephone: 506-851-7400
Fax: 506-851-2801

Ontario Area

174 Stone Road West

Guelph, Ontario  N1G 4S9

Telephone: 519-837-9400
Fax: 519-837-9766

Quebec Area

Room 761-C
2001 University Street

Montréal, Quebec  H3A 3N2

Telephone: 514-283-8888
Fax: 514-283-3143

Advertising Standard Canada (ASC)

Toronto Office

Advertising Standards Canada
175 Bloor Street East
South Tower,
Suite 1801

Toronto, Ontario  M4W 3R8

Telephone: 416-961-6311
Fax: 416-961-7904

Websitewww.adstandards.com

Montreal Office

Advertising Standards Canada
2015 Peel Street
Suite 915

Montréal, Quebec  H3A 1T8

Telephone: 514-931-8060
Fax: 877-956-8646

Websitewww.adstandards.com

Provincial and Territorial Consumer Affairs Offices

Alberta

Service Alberta, Consumer Contact Centre
3rd Floor Commerce Place
10155-102 Street

Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4L4

Telephone: 780-427-4088
Toll Free: 1-877-427-4088

Email
Websitewww.servicealberta.ca

British Columbia

Consumer Protection BC
#307-3450 Uptown Blvd
PO Box 9244

Victoria, British Columbia  V8W 9J2

Telephone: 604-320-1667
Toll Free: 1-888-564-9963
Fax: 250-920-7181

Email
Websitewww.consumerprotectionbc.ca

Manitoba

Consumer Protection Office, Manitoba Justice
302-258 Portage Avenue

Winnipeg, Manitoba  R3C 0B6

Telephone: 204-945-3800
Toll Free: 1-800-782-0067
Fax: 204-945-0728

Email
Websitewww.manitoba.ca/consumerinfo

New Brunswick

Financial and Consumer Services Commission
225 King Street, Suite 200

Fredericton, New Brunswick  E3B 1E1

Toll Free: 1-866-933-2222
Fax: 506-444-4494

Email
Websitewww.fcnb.ca

Newfoundland and Labrador

Service NL
PO Box 8700

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador  A1B 4J6

Telephone: 709-729-2600
Toll Free: 1-877-968-2600
Fax: 709-729-6998

Email
Websitewww.servicenl.gov.nl.ca/index.html

Northwest Territories

Consumer Affairs, Department of Municipal and Community Affairs
5201-50th Avenue, Suite 600
PO Box 1320

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories  X1A 2L9

Telephone: 867-767-9161 ext 21022
Fax: 867-873-0309

Email
Websitewww.maca.gov.nt.ca/en/services/consumer-affairs

Nova Scotia

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, Public Enquiries
Mail Room, 8 South
Maritime Centre
1505 Barrington Street

Halifax, Nova Scotia  B3J 3K5

Telephone: 902-424-5200
Toll Free: 1-800-670-4357
Fax: 902-424-0720

Email
Websitenovascotia.ca/sns/access/individuals/consumer-awareness.asp

Nunavut

Consumer Affairs, Department of Community and Government Services
3090 – 9th Street
P.O. Box 440

Baker Lake, Nunavut  X0C 0A0

Telephone: 867-793-3303
Toll Free: 1-866-223-8139
Fax: 867-793-3321

Email
Websitewww.gov.nu.ca/

Ontario

Consumer Protection Ontario, Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Box 450
1201 Wilson Ave, Station A

Toronto, Ontario  M3M 1J8

Telephone: 416-326-8800
Toll Free: 1-800-889-9768
Phone (TTY): 416-229-6086
Phone (TTY) 2: 1-877-666-6545
Fax: 416-326-8665

Email
Websitewww.ontario.ca/consumerprotection

Prince Edward Island

Consumer Services, Department of Justice and Public Safety
Shaw Building, 4th Floor
95 Rochford Street
PO Box 2000

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island  C1A 7N8

Telephone: 902-368-4580
Telephone: 902-368-4550
Toll Free: 1-800-658-1799
Fax: 902-368-5283

Websitehttps://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/consumer-services

Quebec

Office de la protection du consommateur
400 Jean-Lesage Boulevard, Suite 450

Québec, Quebec  G1K 8W4

Telephone: 418-643-1484
Toll Free: 1-888-672-2556
Fax: 418-528-0976

Websitewww.opc.gouv.qc.ca

Yukon

Consumer Services, Department of Community Services
307 Black Street

Whitehorse, Yukon  Y1A 2N1

Telephone: 867-667-5111
Toll Free: 1-800-661-0408 ext. 5111
Fax: 867-667-3609

Email
Websitewww.community.gov.yk.ca/consumer/index.html

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