Ministry of Consumer Services
- Location: Toronto
- Lawyers: 12
- Articling Students: 1
- Summer Law Students: 1
- Types of Law: Access & Privacy, Administrative, Consumer Protection, Contract, Corporate, Corporate Governance
Who we are
The Legal Services Branch of the Ministry of Consumer Services (MCS) provides strategic legal advice to MCS in responding to emerging issues as well as assisting the Ministry in implementing its policy and legislative agenda. The Legal Director is a key member of the Ministry’s senior management team, and the legal advice of counsel supports that role.
What we do
Counsel provide advice, support and litigation services, and assist with the development and drafting of legislation and regulations related to a wide array of consumer protection, corporate law and regulated industries’ legislation. We also provide assistance with the development and drafting of contracts, agreements and procurement documents. Litigation counsel play a critical role in ensuring the enforcement of consumer protection statutes through prosecutions and tribunal hearings.
Responsibilities and Areas of Law
- Legal advice and opinions in connection with more than 40 statutes pertaining to consumer protection, regulatory compliance and business law
- Litigation and prosecutions
- Contracts, memoranda of understanding and request for proposals (RFPs)
- Legislation, regulations, proclamations and orders-in-council
- Access and privacy law
- Corporate/commercial and trade law
Our major cases
Our recent initiatives include:
- Payday Loans Act, 2008: In late 2007, a decision was made to regulate the payday lending industry. As a result, senior counsel worked with ministry colleagues from the creation of the Cabinet Submission, to the drafting of the Act, to supporting the Bill through three readings in the House and Committee Hearings, and finally to drafting of regulations under the Act. Currently, we are supporting the implementation as the Act comes into force.
- Propane Safety Review: Following the propane explosion in Downsview in August 2008, the government responded by establishing a panel of two experts to review and provide recommendations in relation to the province's propane safety regulation within 45 days. Our counsel were assigned to support their clients through the provision of strategic legal advice, assistance with stakeholder consultations, and drafting the necessary changes to regulations and legislation.
- Business Law Reform: One of our Senior counsel is working with ministry policy staff on the development of a new Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, which would create a modern legal framework to govern the structure and activities of this class of corporations, including charitable corporations. An extensive consultation process has been completed, involving hundreds of private sector organizations and 16 ministries. The proposed new Act will ensure that Ontario remains a leading corporate law jurisdiction.
What students do
Students are actively involved in all areas of work including:
- Legal research and analysis, such as caselaw and statute research and comparative analysis of legislation from different jurisdictions
- Preparing case summaries and legal memos
- Attending with and providing support to counsel at client meetings and court appearances.
Why choose us
"My articling experience with the MCS (formerly MSBCS) was exceptional! The lawyers and staff at the branch are friendly and supportive and the work provided was both interesting and challenging. Furthermore, the Ministry’s diverse practice areas provided me with the ideal learning environment and the opportunity to develop invaluable skills in different legal fields. While articling with MCS I prosecuted consumer protection offences, assisted with legislative amendments and participated in analyzing high profile consumer protection issues. Overall my experience was extremely rewarding and I feel fortunate to have begun my legal career in this collegial atmosphere." – Former Articling Student
The work of MCS Legal Services Branch is varied and interesting. We are committed to providing students with rewarding summer and articling experiences. All lawyers in our office, including the Legal Director, are available to assist students and provide excellent opportunities for mentoring.