Ontario seeks stakeholder input on towing and storage recommendations

Toronto, Ontario — March 24, 2014 — Members of the public and interested stakeholders are being asked to review and comment on the recommendations of Ontario’s Towing and Storage Advisory Groups.

In the fall of 2013, the Ministry of Consumer Services (MCS) requested that a group of industry stakeholders come together to form the Towing Advisory and Storage Advisory groups. These groups were asked to provide input and advice on issues and factors associated with the oversight of the towing and vehicle storage industries.
The Towing and Storage Advisory Group – Report and Recommendations to the Ministry of Consumer Services is available here. The report serves to summarize the work and recommendations of the Towing and Storage Advisory Groups resulting from consultation sessions held in January and February 2014 on the topic of towing and vehicle storage practices in Ontario.
The Advisory Groups were established to address towing and vehicle storage related issues identified in the Ontario Automobile Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force’s final report. Specifically, the Task Force made recommendations relating to a province-wide licensing scheme, road safety, consumer protection, and unreasonable storage costs. The full report of the Task Force can be found atfin.gov.on.ca/en/autoinsurance/final-report.html.
In response, the government’s 2013 Fall Economic Statement committed to work towards developing a province-wide system to oversee the towing industry, and to consider issues of vehicle storage. Recommendations from a recent Coroner’s Inquest also urged the government to address safety issues related to the towing industry.
MCS held a consultation kick-off meeting on towing and vehicle storage with stakeholders in December 2013. The purpose of the meeting was to start the discussion, raise interest in these issues, and secure participants for the next stage of consultations.
Additional consultation meetings on towing and vehicle storage, facilitated by KPMG, took place in late January and early February 2014 with two 18-member Advisory Groups representing diverse stakeholder communities. The Groups’ primary objectives were to identify issues in the towing and storage industries, and provide consensus recommendations to government on how to address these issues, including the possibility of an oversight model.
The ministry welcomes feedback and encourages anyone interested to provide comments on its proposal.
Robert Bonofiglio is the Senior Policy Advisor, Consumer Policy and Liaison Branch for the Ministry of Consumer Services.
“We’re looking for as much feedback as possible,” says Bonofiglio.”We’re looking to make changes and provide some sort of oversight for twoing and storage in Ontario, and we want people to give us their views.”
All feedback must be submitted by April 8, 2014. Feedback may be sent to towingandstorage@ontario.ca or directly to Robert Bonofiglio at robert.bonofiglio@ontario.ca.

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