On February 22, 2017, Simon Jolin-Barrette (Member for Borduas) introduced Bill 791: An Act to amend the Consumer Protection Act in order to regulate rewards program contracts (the Bill). Similar to legislation recently enacted in Ontario, the Bill proposes to prohibit the expiry of consumers’ rewards points.
The purpose of the Bill is to amend Québec’s Consumer Protection Act (the CPA) so that it applies, with the necessary modifications, to rewards program contracts. If the Bill becomes law, it will require that merchants inform consumers of all conditions applicable to obtaining and using rewards points before the consumer enters the rewards program contract. In addition, rewards program contracts will be prohibited from including provisions purporting to allow for the expiry of rewards points. Any provision allowing a merchant to retroactively change the value of rewards points will similarly be prohibited.
It remains to be seen whether the Bill will be enacted in its present form. However, if the Bill becomes law, retailers and other businesses with rewards programs operating in Québec will need to consider how best to modify their programs to ensure compliance with the new requirements.