Consumer Protection Advisory Committee
The Consumer Protection Advisory Committee (CPAC) provides guidance and advice to the Commissioner in carrying out the Agency’s financial consumer protection mandate. Members inform FCAC’s supervision work, research initiatives, development of consumer education material and provide input on the evolving nature of the sector and consumer needs. Members also share their perspectives on marketplace trends, the delivery of financial services, and the impact of changes in the financial services sector on Canadians. Information gathered from CPAC meetings will be shared with government officials to inform policy development.
The members represent the private, non-profit and academic sectors. All have significant experience in promoting financial consumer protection or conducting consumer protection research, either nationally, provincially or regionally, with the general public or with priority groups. Members extend FCAC’s national reach to a wide range of audiences including seniors, aboriginal Canadians, newcomers, youth and low-income Canadians.
Consumer Protection Advisory Committee — Member biographies
Marie Elaine Farley
Chambre de la sécurité financière, Montréal, Québec
Marie Elaine Farley is President and CEO of the Chambre de la sécurité financière (CSF), a self regulatory organization in the financial sector whose mission is to protect consumers. The CSF oversees the training, ethics and discipline of over 32,000 professionals working in five areas of activity related to personal finance, including individual insurance of persons and mutual funds.
A member of the Barreau du Québec for more than 20 years, she has acquired considerable knowledge of the financial sector, particularly in relation to the distribution of financial services and products. She is especially interested in consumer protection and has initiated several measures that have helped to improve professionals’ ethics.
An experienced administrator, Ms. Farley is also involved in her community, notably as president of Bixi Montréal and as an administrator with the Réseau de transport Métropolitain. In 2017, she was awarded the Prix Femmes d’affaires du Québec in the Executive, Leader or Professional category.
Option consommateurs, Montréal, Québec
Maryse Guénette has been the Research and Presentation Director at Option consommateurs since 2010. In that capacity, she plans and coordinates all of the organization’s research activities. She also represents Option consommateurs during government consultations and on working committees.
Ms. Guénette has many years of experience in the field of consumer advocacy. From 1993 to 2005, she was the head of the Option consommateurs’s magazine, Consommation, then was the head of the organization’s news agency service. From 2005 to 2010, she collaborated on writing several guides and conducted important research for Option Consommateurs, with a focus on the clarity of credit card statements, the techniques used for debt collection, and privacy protection.
Credit Counselling Society, New Westminster, British Columbia
Scott Hannah is CEO and President of the Credit Counselling Society, an award-winning not-for-profit credit counselling agency. Scott has led the organization since its inception in 1996, and he and his dedicated team have helped over 600,000 Canadians resolve their financial difficulties, improve their level of financial literacy and repay over $380 million of debt.
Scott is a recognized expert and keynote speaker, and he is sought after by the media and government for his insight on personal financial matters. Scott is a board member of Credit Counselling Canada, the national association of not-for-profit credit counselling agencies, and also chairs its Creditor Relations Committee. He actively participates in various community and government working groups. He received his undergraduate degree in business from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. He also received an honorary doctorate from University Canada West for his distinguished service in the field of credit counselling and consumer credit education at local, provincial and national levels.
Automobile Protection Association (APA), Montréal, Québec
George Iny is Executive Director of the Automobile Protection Association (APA), Canada’s premier public interest group operating in the automobile sector. Under Mr. Iny’s direction, the APA has taken a lead in successful investigations and class actions related to defective vehicles and to price-fixing in the retail sale of automobiles and gasoline. Mr. Iny has presented briefs to committees of the federal and Quebec legislatures on consumer protection and vehicle safety issues. Mr. Iny has written extensively on auto retailing practices, including several reports for government on vehicle financing and leasing. He is a co-author of the well-known Lemon-Aid car guide, a contributing editor to Protégez-Vous, the Quebec consumer magazine, and a columnist for MoneySense, the personal finance magazine.
Under Mr. Iny’s direction, the APA has undertaken more than 20 undercover investigations into auto retailing and repairs, in partnership with CTV’s “W5.” Mr. Iny is a member of the consumer protection committee of OMVIC, Ontario’s dealer regulator, and previously served on the boards of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Option consommateurs (10 years each). George has a Bachelor of Civil Law degree from McGill University.
Financial Planning Standards Council, Edmonton, Alberta
Kelley Keehn is a personal finance educator, media personality, speaker and best-selling, award-winning author of nine books. She’s on a mission to “Make Canadians Feel Good About Money.” Kelley served on the National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy, is a Money Mentors board member, and serves as Consumer Advocate for the Financial Planning Standards Council.
Université Laval, Faculté de droit, City of Québec, Québec
Marc Lacoursière has been a professor of economic law at Laval University’s Faculty of Law since 2000 and a member of the Barreau du Québec since 1993. A founding member of the Centre d’études en droit économique (CÉDÉ) of Laval University’s Law Faculty, he was a member of the CÉDÉ’s executive office from 2005 to 2009 and its co-director in 2012–2013. He earned his PhD in banking law from York University in Toronto in 2001. In 1998, he was awarded the Prix Minerve for his master’s thesis, La sécurité juridique du crédit documentaire informatisé.
Professor Lacoursière is involved in a number of funded research projects on banking, consumer protection and ecommerce and has published works in these fields. Professor Lacoursière has been a member of Laval University’s research ethics committee since 2011.
Consumers Council of Canada, Ladysmith, British Columbia
Don Mercer has been involved in a variety of roles with the Council since 2007, following a long career with the Competition Bureau Canada, which administers the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act. These laws foster healthy competition and trust in the marketplace, and prohibit anti-competitive behavior such as price-fixing and abuse of dominance among marketplace players. They also help ensure trust in Canada’s marketplace by outlawing misleading advertising, misrepresentations, fraud and deception.
Since April 2014, Don has represented the Consumers Council of Canada on the Stakeholder Advisory Council of Payments Canada, which is responsible for the operation and governance of Canada’s national payments systems.
He resides on Vancouver Island in Ladysmith, B.C.
Supporting Employment & Economic Development (SEED) Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Louise Simbandumwe is Co-Director of Supporting Employment and Economic Development (SEED) Winnipeg. She has two decades of experience working to address poverty through community economic development initiatives and cross-sectoral collaboration. Louise played a lead role in working with partner organizations to develop SEED’s financial empowerment programs. These innovative programs have been replicated by other community-based organizations in Manitoba, Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia. SEED has been actively engaged in building a broader community of practice focused on reducing poverty by expanding the scope and scale of financial empowerment initiatives.
Ms. Simbandumwe is a founding member and co-chair of the Manitoba Financial Empowerment Network and a founding member of the national Asset Building Learning Exchange Steering Committee. Ms. Simbandumwe has a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Saskatchewan and a master’s degree in comparative social research from Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar.
Lavery Lawyers, Montréal, Québec
Luc Thibaudeau has been a partner in the Business Law group at Lavery Lawyers since 1997. He focuses on commercial law, frequently representing corporations, financial institutions, retail chains and stakeholders in the entertainment industry.
Since 2006, Mr. Thibaudeau has been actively involved in reforming Quebec’s Consumer Protection Act. He has provided input on many bills before parliamentary committees or other federal and provincial bodies. As the author of the Guide pratique de la société de consommation (2013) and Les garanties (2017), he is regularly invited to speak about protecting consumer rights.
Mr. Thibaudeau chairs the Barreau du Québec’s consumer protection advisory committee. He also sits on the organizing committee of the Bar of Montreal’s Round Table on Participative Justice and on several boards of directors, including that of the Alzheimer Society of Montreal, the Fondation Claude Masse, the Factry School of Creativity, the Jeunesses Musicales Canada Foundation and the Fondation de la Mode de Montréal.
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