B.C. eyeing legislative proposals focused on unlicensed selling


B.C.’s public safety minister has introduced a number of proposed amendments to the province’s Motor Dealer Act he says will provide new protections to consumers.

Mike Morris says some of the suggestions have been requested by many within the industry and would work to ensure wholesalers, broker agents and broker-agent representatives are licensed and regulated.

The amendments include giving the Vehicle Sales Authority the ability to issue compliance orders, assess administrative penalties and accept undertakings for unlicensed activity, such as curbing and improper online sales.

It would also seek to create the licensing categories of wholesaler, broker‐agent and broker‐agent representative to remove the gaps in consumer protection created by the licensing of only motor dealers and salespeople.

Morris’ notes his proposal would also enhancing existing powers including allowing the use of electronic communications and paper hearings, in addition to oral hearings, in the processing of some complaints.

He also calls for adding compliance orders and undertakings to the cancellation and suspension of licences as options for breaches of the Motor Dealer Act noting it would provide a more “flexible, proportionate and responsive approach to compliance.”

If passed, the amendments would transfer oversight of the Motor Dealer Customer Compensation Fund from government to the VSA and enhance “fairness and transparency” by clarifying provisions for the publication of licensing and enforcement decisions.

“Simply put, these proposed changes increase the scope of current authority to previously unlicensed areas while enhancing other powers to add fairness, accessibility and efficiency,” VSA president Jay Chambers said.