By Myron Love
WINNIPEG, MAN. – In early December, the Manitoba government introduced new legislation that requires auto dealers to include all fees, charges, taxes and levies in ads as compared to advertising just the base price.
Both John Carey, past president of the Manitoba Motor Dealers Association, and Nick Roberts, executive director of the Manitoba Used Cars Dealers Association, report that their members support the new legislation.
“We have been pushing this for quite a while,” Roberts says. “We first suggested this to the government a couple of years ago.”
Carey adds that the MMDA worked with the government in drafting the legislation. He says that the legislation will raise advertising standards for the industry as a whole.”
The legislation will mean that dealers who advertise one price and end up charging considerably more will face fines up to as much as $5,000. The provincial Consumer Protection Office will be monitoring print ads and be open to hearing customer complaints.
One oversight of the legislation that disappoints both Roberts and Carey is that the rules exempt manufacturers, as was the case in Ontario.
“The argument is that manufacturers’ ads fall under federal jurisdiction,” Roberts says.
Manitoba will be the fifth province to introduce this legislation after British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. The legislation is expected to go into effect next summer.