As we approach the holiday season, recent changes to the laws in Ontario around gift cards should be borne in mind. In particular, since October 1, 2007 gift cards can no longer be issued in Ontario with an expiry date, with very limited exceptions. In most cases, if gift cards are issued with an expiry date, the law now requires that the expiry date be ignored.

Additionally, as a result of the amendments, gift cards must be issued for the full value of the payment by the consumer - no charge can be levied for the issuance of the card. Furthermore, any permitted fees and all restrictions, limitations and conditions that the supplier imposes must be set out in writing.

Click here to view the amended regulations to the Consumer Protection Act.