MPP Ernie Hardeman Tables Motion Aimed at Protecting Consumers in their Time of Bereavement

Motion will study consumer protection and freedom of choice in the bereavement sector

June 6, 2024

WOODSTOCK — This week, Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman tabled a motion in the Legislature that seeks to ensure that bereaved consumers are protected and have freedom of choice in 3rd party sellers. This motion requests the government study the practices of the bereavement sector and determine if the current legislative and regulatory framework are fair and prioritizes consumers. The motion reads:

That, in the opinion of this House, the Government of Ontario should conduct a comprehensive review of the practices in the funeral, burial, and cremation services sector to ensure they prioritize protecting vulnerable families in their time of bereavement, promote freedom of choice in access to 3rd party sellers, and determine if the current rules and framework under the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002 are fair and achieve the highest level of consumer protection.

“I’ve heard from independent monument builders and other 3rd party sellers in my riding and across Ontario that the current framework may not be adequately prioritizing consumer protection and freedom of choice,” said Ernie Hardeman, MPP for Oxford. “Having the ability to easily comparison shop – where consumers have full knowledge and choice as to where they can get services for their loved one – is very important to prevent them from being taken advantage of at a very difficult time.”

“The timing for this comprehensive review could not be better. It has been 25 years since consumer groups and industry participants have had the opportunity to address fairness in the bereavement sector. It is the belief of the Ontario Monument Builders that freedom of choice for the consumer affords the best consumer protection for those who have lost a loved one,” said Gary Foster, Executive Director of the Ontario Monument Builders Association.

“Ontarians deserve and expect the highest level of consumer protection and freedom of choice in the bereavement sector,” said Hardeman. “My motion, if passed, will make sure that Ontarians have a fair marketplace where they are not stifled from choosing which seller they believe is best for their loved one.”