The Registrar Magazine - Issue 4 - Winter 2022

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Issue 4 Winter 2022 Edition

The Registrant

Derrick Tobin: humanitarian, non-profit executive graduates from nursing school

Adapting to new investment trends: Meet GRANT VINGOE, Chair and CEO, Ontario Securities Commission

The Consumer The ongoing saga of an unregulated moving industry

Council Corner

The importance of public representation on Councils


Issue 4 Winter 2022 Edition Journalists and Writers Damian Ali Ritika Dubey Leah Golob Lana Hall Trish Richards M. Daniel Roukema Bernard Savage

From the Editor’s Desk A year ago this month, a talented group of journalists from across the country assembled for a virtual meeting to discuss the launch of a magazine for the Canadian regulatory sector. The name was tentative, but the objective was indisputable: to collect stories from 500 regulatory bodies and profile the human side of professionals who commit their careers to protect the public.

Editors

Twelve months, dozens of interviews, and thousands of hours later, we've launched the fourth issue of The Registrar. In that time, the magazine has had tens of thousands of readers in more than 20 countries. I never expected that.

Graphic Designers

It's been no small feat and a bumpy ride at times, but we're immensely proud of our accomplishments because The Registrar is bringing regulators in a vast country closer through shared experiences.

Production Manager

We’re also humbled by the attention, support, and recognition. We’ve been meeting many people people who've read the magazine, congratulate us for our efforts, and pledge their full support. I've been recognized as "that regulatory magazine guy" by a registrar in Alberta (that was fun), and people we reach out to for stories have welcomed the opportunity with open arms.

M. Daniel Roukema Dr. Alan Viau

Marija Hajster Allison Wedler

Marija Hajster

Managing Editor Alethea Spiridon

Editor in Chief

M. Daniel Roukema

Photo credits

Canva Dreamstime MDR Strategy Group Ltd. Derrick Tobin and family The Registrar magazine is produced and published by MDR Strategy Group Ld. 800-1701 Hollis Street Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2T9 1-800-874-3820 editor@theregistrar.ca www.theregistrar.ca

So, as this publication enters its second year, I welcome you to join this journey. Contact us with story ideas, and if you’d like to write for The Registrar, let me know! We are here for you and are excited about what the future holds. Thanks again for your support. Thanks to all contributors, our journalists, and your staff who made this possible. And happy first birthday to The Registrar.

M. Daniel Roukema

NEXT EDITION: APRIL 18, 2022

www.mdrstrategy.ca © 2022. All rights reserved

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winter edition 2022


IN THIS EDITION

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9

25

28

14

6

When it comes to sustainability regulation, are older buildings being left behind?

25 Council Corner: The important

9

In Canada, only one jurisdiction regulates paralegals. Could the profession benefit from regulated practice standards?

28 The Consumer : The ongoing

14 Cover Story: Adapting to new

investment trends: Meet GRANT VINGOE, Chair and CEO, Ontario Securities Commission

role of public appointees in regulatory governance

saga of an unregulated moving industry

34

The Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association changes name in move toward single mandate of regulation

20 The Registrant: From

humanitarian to executive director, now nurse: How one Nova Scotia man took a midcareer gamble and won.

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Advertise in

The Registrar Next Edition: April 18, 2022

Artwork submission deadline: April 1, 2022

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Special thanks to Tonya Blackley Ontario Securities Commission Nancy Irvine Canadian Association of Movers Kristen Rose Ontario Securities Commission Bernard Savage Rocco Giordano Scocco Scocco Law Heidi Semkowich Alberta Association of Professional Paralegals Mike Singleton Sustainable Buildings Canada

Derrick Tobin Nova Scotia Health Authority Lisa Trabucco University of Windsor JP Vecsi Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan Frankie Verville College of Registered Nurses of Saskatchewan Grant Vingoe Ontario Securities Commission Jenny Warrillow Jennifer Wing Law Society of Ontario

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When it comes to sustainability regulation, are older buildings being left behind? By Lana Hall

C

anadian building codes, tasked with regulating both the sustainability and the resilience of buildings considering climate change, face a reckoning. While new constructions are beholden to up to three sets of continuously updated building standards, older buildings, which make up most of the country’s residential and commercial stock, languish in regulatory limbo. According to the The Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC), buildings generate nearly 40% of global CO2 emissions. Reducing this figure will be key to tackling the effects of climate change, including Canada’s net-zero emissions by 2050 target. This means buildings have a two-pronged challenge. Not only do they have to meet standards that mitigate the effects of climate change—through regulation of sus-

Michael Singleton, executive director of Sustainable Buildings Canada

tainable building materials and energy performance, for example—but they must meet standards to be resilient against the impacts of climate

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“ There’s little, if any, regulation that requires existing building stock to upgrade to current climate standards, whether related to energy performance or building resiliency.” change, such as potential flooding or high winds. New buildings are regulated for sustainability at multiple levels. The National Building Code sets Canada-wide provisions for the design and construction of new buildings, such as fire protection, accessibility, heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning, among others. Each province has a system as well, such as the B.C. Building Code, designed to address requirements that may be specific to the climate of each province. Some municipalities are beginning to introduce standards too, but these are usually voluntary. The Toronto Green Standard, for example, includes building recom-

mendations, such as a certain level of stormwater management, which reduces strain on the city’s sewage system and standards for a thermal envelope, a representation of how long you can shelter within a building during a power outage. Developers are given incentives to meet these standards, such as lower development fees. Governments update these codes and standards, be they federal, provincial/ territorial, or municipal, every few years. “You can think of it like a bar. The bar gets raised every few years, so we can build into the code higher and higher expectations around energy efficiency and energy performance,” says Michael Singleton, executive director of Sustainable Buildings Canada. “If you look at a new building that’s built now, just because of the building code and its improvements, it’s probably 50 or 60 per cent more efficient than a new building was in 1980.” New buildings, however, are only part of the equation, says Singleton. There’s little, if any, regulation that requires existing building stock to upgrade to current climate standards, whether related to energy performance or building resiliency. An urban office tower constructed in the 1970s, for example, isn’t required to be retrofitted to meet today’s energy goals or to withstand current rates of flooding. 7

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“In terms of making an impact on greenhouse gasses … it’s really the existing buildings that matter and they’re the ones that are much harder to tackle,” says Singleton. Upgrading an existing building depends on whether a developer is willing to cough up the cash to retrofit, an expensive and complex undertaking. In 2016, the Pan-Canadian Framework for Clean Growth and Climate Change called for the development of a retrofit code that would create regulatory requirements for existing buildings. Recently, a national task force released a report summarizing recommendations for such a code, tentatively known as the Alterations for Existing Buildings (AEB). The AEB, however, isn’t expected

to be unrolled until 2030 and its items will be voluntary, triggered only when a building is already being altered. “There are layers of complexity,” says Singleton of retrofitting existing buildings. “Everything from technology to construction and all different kinds of decision makers involved.” A retrofit to meet today’s building standards for energy efficiency and resiliency could require serious disruption, including the replacement of windows, walls, and entire systems. “If you want to encourage [developers] to undertake retrofits, then you have to give them an incentive,” he says. “Unless it’s fitting into their capital plan, they’re less likely to consider it.”

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Only one Canadian jurisdiction regulates paralegals. Could the profession benefit from regulated practice standards? By Damian Ali

A

s we all know, admission into certain professions in Canada oftentimes comes with strict practice requirements. To function most effectively, professionals must obtain a license and abide by certain standards to ensure the public is protected. The legal profession in Canada is different. While lawyers across the country must have a valid license from their provincial or territorial law society, the paralegal profession Is largely unregulated with few legislated practice requirements.

Current regulatory landscape Ontario is the only province or territory in Canada that regulates paralegals.

Heidi Semkowich, president of the Alberta Association of Professional Paralegals

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before an individual can hold themselves out as a paralegal to the public.

Ontario is the only province or territory in Canada that regulates paralegals. Spokesperson for the Law Society of Ontario, Jennifer Wing, says paralegals are an integral part of the legal system, and that the organization has been mindful of the twin objectives of regulation—consumer protection and enhanced access to justice. “Paralegals can provide an affordable option for those in need of legal services or representation,” Wing says. “This helps reduce self-represented litigants in court cases and deters people from seeking advice from non-regulated legal resources or individuals who may lead them astray.”

Attempts at development In Alberta, the provincial association representing paralegals recognizes the benefits of licensing and professional regulation. Heidi Semkowich, president of the Alberta Association of Professional Paralegals, notes that there is no minimum standard of qualifications

However, there are steps the Law Society of Alberta could take toward the regulation of the profession, she notes. An Innovation Sandbox was recently announced, which allows non-lawyers to apply for permission to provide limited scope legal services. “This is a fantastic step forward and we’re looking forward to engaging in further discussions with the Law Society with respect to next steps in paralegal regulation.” In Quebec, even though lawyers and notaries public are regulated by separate authorities, paralegals struggle for recognition and attempts to legitimize the profession are ongoing.

Accessibility lighting the way forward Standardization of practice requirements, Semkowich says, would ensure a minimum desired level of education, insurance coverage, and a professional code of conduct. Most importantly, she says, it would ensure that both the public and the paralegal are protected. “The Alberta Association of Professional Paralegals have been working diligently with various educational

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regulated so the public is protected.” Access to justice continues to play a centralized role, not just in legal professionals practicing at the highest standards, but for members of the public who require their services to obtain them without worry.

Lisa Trabucco, assistant professor at Windsor Law

Having a minimum standard of assurances, ethics, and practice requirements can serve communities in ways that lawyers traditionally haven’t institutions, government bodies, and our membership to adopt a similar model [to Ontario] in the coming years,” she says. “By permitting paralegals to provide some of those services at a reduced cost, the public will have better access to the services they require. Those paralegals that are providing the services must be properly qualified and

Lisa Trabucco, assistant professor at Windsor Law, says regulation is inherently a good thing, as it provides a standard of competence and accountability. “It’s through an improvement of access to justice that paralegals are able to, in a lot of niche areas, serve very specific communities,” Trabucco says. “They could fill in gaps and expand their reach, as not everyone can afford to go to a big urban centre for legal support.” Having a minimum standard of assurances, ethics, and practice requirements can serve communities in ways that lawyers traditionally haven’t, Trabucco says. Down the line, she says paralegals should burst out from the current setup of their occupation, to deliver their own structured legal services. “It’s a big marketplace,” Trabucco says. “At the end of the day, access to justice for the public leads to a greater level of attainable social justice for all members of each community.” 11

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On January 1, 2022, the Alberta College and Association of Opticians (ACAO) became the College of Opticians of Alberta (COA) with the sole mandate to protect the Alberta public.

Learn more about the College’s separation and new mandate to protect the public:

WATCH VIDEO


Cover Story

Grant Vingoe Cover Story

Adapting to new investment trends: Meet GRANT VINGOE, Chair and CEO, Ontario Securities Commission By Leah Golob

Grant Vingoe

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The OSC, which regulates Ontario’s capital markets, has been witnessing change so rapidly that it’s, in some ways, altered the nature of the job. “There’s a tremendous influx of retail investors who are do-it-yourself investors, who aren’t using traditional advice as much and relying much more on social media and other sources of information,” he says. “That’s a giant change. There was a point during the year where retail volume was almost greater than institutional volume in the stock markets. And you see the discount brokerages adding more and more clients to their roster.” In fact, Canadians opened 2.3 million new self-directed accounts in 2020 compared to 846,000 in 2019, according to the research firm Investor Economics. This changes things because investors aren’t relying on traditional investment advice or investment advisors who have oversight and proficiency requirements, Vingoe says.

Cover Story

O

ver the last few years at the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), Grant Vingoe, chair and CEO, has been keeping busy staying on top of the pace of change.

“ There’s a tremendous influx of retail investors who are do-ityourself investors, who aren’t using traditional advice as much and relying much more on social media and other sources of information.” And, while social media can be a source of valid information, there’s a lot of misinformation out there, he adds. Tweet-sized communications, instead of more nuanced analysis, can promote impulsive investing. “And we’ve seen with the meme-stock phenomenon that there’s a crowding into particular companies based on a perception but very little sound investment fundamentals,” he says. That’s created a lot of volatility in stock, primarily in the United States, he adds, but it’s also relevant in Canada. 15

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Cover Story

With Canada’s meme-stock phenomenon, a lot of Canadians invest in U.S. stocks through Canadian discount brokers that then trade through their counterparties in the United States. “There are very high costs associated with this and social media knows no borders. That’s the primary source of information,” Vingoe says. It’s impacted how the OSC thinks about investment activity.

In March of this year, the OSC issued a notice expressing the view that most crypto-asset trading platforms were subject to the OSC’s regulators and needed to be licensed as dealers and perhaps marketplaces.

“We have to think about how we regard the influencers on social media who are potentially spreading information, and maybe misinformation, and whether they have financial incentives for doing so.” Vingoe explains that the OSC has always relied on traditional disclosure methods with investors—written documents that are delivered to them and investor education delivered in long-term presentation. “We have to think about that differently. How do we participate in investor education? How do we design our rules to communicate to a new demographic that’s receiving their information through social media? And what does that mean for our whole disclosure regime as securities regulators?” he says. “That’s yet to be fully developed. That does change how we regulate and how we communicate and how issuers communicate with investors quite profoundly.” One place the regulator has been experimenting with communicating is the platform Reddit, particularly in the subreddit Baystreetbets. “We have to go where the investors are,” Vingoe says. “We’re kind of a sober voice on Reddit. We probably stand out because we’re not the hyped-up voices but the voice of caution.”

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Cover Story

Increased attention on cryptocurrency has also been keeping Vingoe busy this past year. “The crypto asset phenomenon makes me think sometimes we’re becoming the crypto asset regulatory agency of Canada,” he jokes. “It’s taking up such extensive resources. There’s a lot of promise in that technology and it definitely represents a trend.” In March of this year, the OSC issued a notice expressing the view that most crypto-asset trading platforms were subject to the OSC’s regulators and needed to be licensed as dealers and perhaps marketplaces.

Even though Bitcoin and Ether can be viewed as their own currencies, in almost every case the investor doesn’t own the asset themselves — they own a contract that entitles them to receive it. So, in the OSC’s eyes, these crypto contracts are still like regular investments. However, in the case of crypto, many platforms are offering a kind of investment called a derivative where there’s a promise they’ll be delivered in the future. “Once we realized that investors weren’t receiving the underlying assets and you have this bundle of rights, we insisted that [trading platform companies] come in, describe 17

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Cover Story

their operations, and initially become licensed as restricted dealers and go on the road that would take them to an IIROC [the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada] membership.” To date, the OSC has registered six crypto asset trading platforms as restricted dealers subject to terms and conditions. They’ve also initiated enforcement actions against those who weren’t prepared to come forward. In response, some have said they’re leaving Ontario. “Our enforcement actions continue, but we have provided a balanced, effective path for registration for those prepared to be transparent

and open with us.” Vingoe has now been with the OSC since 2015. He joined as vice-chair and commissioner before becoming CEO and chair in the spring of 2020. A graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School who received his LL.M from the New York University School of Law, he gained experience in the private sector as a lawyer focusing on regulation in the financial sector, corporate finance, and cross-border securities initiatives. The OSC isn’t his first role outside of private industry, however. Vingoe was the independent director of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and

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Representing public policy and interest was appealing because of the impact he could have on investors in Canada, and even globally, since the OSC participates in international organizations. “After being a participant in the private sector for so long, to actually take that learning and give back so you can produce better outcomes for all stakeholders and investors, in particular, was a social good that compelled me to want to try my hand at regulation.”

Vingoe says his decades in the private sector have been an advantage, and recommends other regulators try a role outside of government to better inform their position.

Cover Story

was chair of its Corporate Governance Committee.

“I do think it’s important that regulators spend part of their careers in the trenches, either in industry or as investor advocate or as an academic,” he says. “That’s really important in the development of their careers and also their personal satisfaction that they spend some part of their career in a different area that will help them ultimately become better regulators in the long run.

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The Registrant

Derrick Tobin: humanitarian then non-profit executive graduates from nursing school. How this Nova Scotian took a mid-career gamble and won. By Trish Richards

P

The Registrant

ropped up against his headboard gazing into the screen of the laptop unevenly rested on his legs, Derrick Tobin was once again working in bed at 3 a.m., when his wife, Ashley, awoke and asked him how he was doing. “I feel so stressed out. I can’t sleep. I’m just not happy. I feel like things have changed,” Tobin said. She replied, “Well, you can stop, and you can do something different.” To Tobin, it seemed like almost a lifetime ago that he was an inspired, energetic English teacher, educating students abroad in Thailand and Mexico for two years, before teaching in British Columbia and Nova Scotia classrooms for nearly a decade.

Empowered by his wife’s support and reassurance, Tobin went back to school to become a registered nurse, the lifelong dream career he’d been discouraged from pursuing after high school because of his gender.

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The Registrant

A 2021 graduate of Dalhousie University's School of Nursing.

After teaching, pursuing a career in administration was a natural transition for Tobin. At the height of his 10-year administration career, he was 45 years old and had already run two different private career colleges as executive director.

Re-evaluating Priorities “I felt as though the higher I moved up in administration, the less connected I was with the students, which was really important to me,” he explains. “In the end, I felt like my mental health was suffering a bit, and I didn’t feel fulfilled.” Empowered by his wife’s support and reassurance, Tobin was accepted into

nursing school at Dalhousie University in Halifax and achieved the lifelong dream career he’d been discouraged from pursuing after high school because of his gender. “Being a husband and a father with a son, leaving what objectively would have been a successful career to go back to university at my age was very scary and very hard,” he explains. “In my class, I was one of only four males and one of the oldest students. I had a lot of pressure on myself to succeed.”

Drawing Parallels Tobin graduated in 2021 at the age of 48, and now provides care to men21

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Tobin says he hopes the excitement of this new career will last forever

The Registrant

“Staying regulated ensures that we’re up to speed with the highest professional standards, and I think it’s a critical part of our profession.” tally ill offenders in an undisclosed ward where the courts have ordered them to undergo mental-health evaluations. “Obviously, we work with a vulnerable population, which I think is what

draws me most to it,” he says. “I feel like we do something important, and we serve a population that doesn’t necessarily always get a fair shake.” When Tobin decided to pursue nursing, he never thought he’d end up working where he did, but after taking part in a clinical placement there, he found it fascinating. “I see a lot of parallels between nursing and teaching, where you give a lot of yourself, and you’re trying to improve the people around you,” he explains. “I would say the greatest parallel is that it’s a frontline discipline, where you connect on a meaningful level with people, and your goal is to help them, to help them realize their potential, and to help them grow as human beings.”

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Taking Stock

The Registrant

Now a registrant of the Nova Scotia College of Nursing, Tobin reflects on the importance of protecting the public. “As a teacher, and especially as a nurse, we have the potential to do great harm if we don’t do things right,” he explains. “Staying regulated ensures that we’re up to speed with the highest professional standards, and I think it’s a critical part of our profession.”

Upon reflection of his professional life to this point, much has changed from the days of working from his makeshift desk in bed into the wee hours of the morning. Of course, his new career has introduced a different set of challenges, like working 12-hour night shifts and dealing with often unpredictable clients and cir-

Team Tobin – An unconditionally supportive family made all the difference

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cumstances. Concerns of COVID-19, for example, also linger daily. However, Tobin feels he made the right decision to leave his management role to serve in a frontline capacity.

serves the public in the way that we do has to reflect the public they’re serving,” he says. “Seeing people of different genders, religions and races in nursing really contributes to our field, and it improves the service we “I’m very proud to be a male nurse, deliver to the public. I’m proud of that and I think that any population that as well.”

CAREER APPOINTMENTS MANITOBA Manitoba Association of Registered Respiratory Therapists • Deborah Handziuk, Registrar/ Executive Director

NOVA SCOTIA Nova Scotia College of Respiratory Therapists • Debbie Hicks, Deputy Registrar

ONTARIO College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario • Dr. Glenn Pettifer, Registrar & CEO • Mr. Roderick Tom-Ying, Acting Registrar & CEO College of Denturists of Ontario • Elaine Lew, Manager of Registration and Qualifying Examinations • Tera Goldblatt, Manager of Regulatory Programs

College of Kinesiologists of Ontario • Michelle Bianchi, Director of Operations and Financial Services • Briah Fehst, Practice Advisor College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario • John Tzountzouris, Registrar & CEO

SASKATCHEWAN Saskatchewan College of Respiratory Therapists • Gail Sarkany, Executive Director/ Registrar Saskatchewan College of Physical Therapists • Jason Vogelsang, Executive Director and Registrar

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Council Corner

The important role of public appointees in regulatory governance By Bernard Savage

W

Wil believes social workers are members of “a self-deprecating profession,” inherently modest about the

impact of their work and the depth of their expertise. He’s also a fan of one of the fundamental principles of virtually all professional regulation in Canada and beyond: governing bodies comprised of both registrants and those from outside the profession.

Council Corner

il Hedges may be the biggest fan of social workers in the legal profession. He grew up among social workers, and he encounters social workers every day in his legal work in family law and child protection. He recently completed two terms as a member of the Board of the Manitoba College of Social Workers.

“Let’s face it, there’s always a risk of any group becoming too homogenous in its thinking,” he says. “I think it’s really important to have outsiders at the table.” A few thousand miles east of Winni-

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Council Corner

peg, Susan Harley of Saint John, New Brunswick reached a similar conclusion about a different profession. Susan describes herself as a “serial volunteer.” Even before her retirement a few years ago, she was involved in professional regulation and community service. She recently completed a term as a public appointee to the Council of the New Brunswick College of Pharmacy. “Pharmacists are caring professionals determined to get the details right,” she says. “They want to meet changing consumer demand while maintaining extremely high professional standards.” Like Wil Hedges, Susan believes the participation of those outside the profession in regulation has big benefits. In addition to her pharmacy role, Susan made a similar contribution to the governance of New Brunswick’s

Law Society. “We bring balance,” she says. “We bring external points of view that cause us to pause and consider all points of view.” There are practical benefits to having non-registrants involved in governance, Susan says. Professions don’t necessarily have diverse skill sets. “My experience in business, communications and public relations complemented the skill set pharmacists brought to the table.” Susan is convinced that the outcomes are better because they’re the product of different perspectives. Across the country, the regulation of the professions is a hot topic. Among the legislative and regulatory changes are reducing the size of governing councils, selecting professional members by skill set rather than election, and restricting mandates to their pub-

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I’m reassured that the combination of professional and public representation on governing bodies works well. lic protection roles (as opposed to also advocating for professional interests). But the concept of governance by both members and non-members seems to be well-entrenched, and a key public-policy mechanism for supporting accountability to the public. Like Wil and Susan, I have personal experience as a public representative in the governance of a profession. Just last month, I completed a term as a public appointee to the Council of the College of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario. Just like Wil and Susan, I have learned a great deal about the profession, and my appreciation for the dedication and professionalism of registrants has grown. I share their experience of being warmly welcomed by my professional colleagues on Council. I also agree with them that the combination of professional expertise and external perspective leads

Council Corner

to better decision-making. There’s no perfect governance model. Based on my experience, I can understand the argument for smaller governing bodies. I’m sympathetic to those who advocate for a greater emphasis on skill-based review and recruitment of professional members, rather than elections. Greater attention to the distinct roles of institutional governance and professional regulation is required. But in speaking to other public appointees of other regulatory bodies, I’m reassured that the combination of professional and public representation on governing bodies works well. Wil, Susan, and I were all greeted warmly by the members of the profession on the governing bodies. We all served on councils with a significant degree of cohesion. Even more reassuring is this common experience: each of us noted that professional peers—those with the most to lose if professional standards are compromised—are those applying the greatest rigour to the protection of those standards. In other words, none of us was called upon to explicitly remind our colleagues from within the profession of the imperative of public accountability. Perhaps that’s evidence of hybrid governance working well. 27 theregistrar.ca

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The Consumer

The ongoing saga of an unregulated moving industry and frustrated consumers Is there a viable solution to improve public protection? By Ritika Dubey

M

The Consumer

oving to a small rural community in Nova Scotia from southern Ontario was distressing and expensive for Jenny’s family. In February 2020, the family hired Move Me Again Transportation to coordinate and manage the move of their personal items to the Maritimes. They spent a considerable amount time comparing quotes from various moving companies receiving quotes that ranged from $8,000 to $12,000 and settled for the least expensive estimate of $2,000. Warrillow shared with The Registrar that on moving day, she was hastily rushed into signing documents by the moving truck driver, unknowingly agreeing to a “flat rate.” “Key to their scam was a section about

the flat rate. The driver had checked off a box to say we agreed to pay a flat rate for the move instead of the quoted rate based on the weight,” she said. “But the conversation we had with him was that we wanted him to weigh the contents of the truck and we would pay based on that.” The bill handed to them was now for $6,700, a 108 per cent difference from what they had been quoted. Hundreds of similar cases have surfaced since 2018—when multiple scam companies were charged, but the Crown dropped the charges because of lack of evidence. In 2019, over 600 complaints and multiple inquiries about movers and moving companies, were registered with

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the Canadian Association of Movers (CAM) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a report says. However, there’s no governing body to protect consumers from fraudulent moving companies. “I’ve spoken at length with an official at the Ministry of Consumer Protection regarding my case, and he couldn’t help me,” says Warrillow. She’s now helping other victims through a Facebook group. The moving industry was deregulated in the 1980s to improve consumer-oriented services like cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and reliability.

Nancy Irvine, president of the Canadian Association of Movers (CAM)

However, accountability is only voluntary through organizations such as the Better Business Bureau.

The Consumer

In 2019, over 600 complaints and multiple inquiries about movers and moving companies, were registered with the Canadian Association of Movers (CAM) and the Better Business Bureau.

“Moving is widely known as one of the top three stressors in your life,” Nancy Irvine, president of the Canadian Association of Movers (CAM) says. “You’re moving because somebody died, or you got divorced, or you’ve got a new job in a new city.” While already struggling with changes, “these moving companies get a consumer confused without the consumer knowing they’re confused about things,” Irvine says. Irvine tells The Registrar that scammers first appear professional and convincing — borrowing company 29

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falling victims has been overwhelming for governing bodies, investigators, and lawyers to resolve all the cases. Warrillow told The Registrar that despite developing links with the Toronto Police division that deals with the “prolific group of companies,” the division can no longer refer complaints to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. “...because the Ministry said there were too many and please could they [the police] just tell victims to file their own complaints,” she said. Rocco Giordano Scocco, principal lawyer at Scocco Law

The Consumer

names like legit firms, lowballing estimates, and providing detailed Excel sheets to appear genuine. After the pickup, these scammers either keep the household items hostage for more money than agreed upon or flee with the upfront fee while unloading the items in a garbage dump. Consumers, on the other hand, can’t approach the police for help in this situation. Irvine explains that a moving company asks for an upfront fee — considered a civil issue —leaving little power to the police to interfere. There are ongoing efforts by CAM and BBB to educate consumers on scam moving companies, but the rising cases and helplessness among consumers

“The simplest way to crack down on rogue movers is to have licensing,” says Rocco Giordano Scocco, a principal lawyer at Scocco Law in Toronto, who works in consumer protection and has been actively working with victims in mover scams. Scocco believes a licensing body would ensure companies are upholding the ethics, ensuring they’re abiding by Consumer Protection Act laws, and if found in violation, the license could be revoked. “It’s just a box you check off: licensed or not licensed,” says Scocco. “If a company is found scamming, they’d be operating without a license. All a police officer would have to do is just find them. It’ll make it very difficult for scammers to operate in the long term.”

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Licensing body would ensure companies are upholding the ethics, ensuring they’re abiding by Consumer Protection Act laws, and if found in violation, the license could be revoked. While penalizing fraudulent practices, the potential regulatory body shouldn’t come as “a burden on the good movers,” Scocco says. “We want a system that doesn’t hurt businesses of good movers, or over-complicate it,” Scocco tells The Registrar. “The rules for licensing should be simple. It shouldn’t require a lot of paperwork or filing.” Since March 2020, tens of thousands of Canadians have relocated to Nova Scotia from Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. This migration has resulted in a lucrative market for moving compa-

The Consumer

nies that offer deals so low, it becomes lucrative to budget-conscious families. Geoff, 45, also recently moved his family from Ontario to Nova Scotia. He says he too could have been scammed and stresses the importance of not taking the deal that seems too good to be true. “I think caveat emptor is the Latin term for ‘buyer beware,’” he says, adding that although quotes for his move ranged from $2,000 to $12,000, scam artists were easily identifiable. “When unrealistic promises are made, contracts aren’t signed, or the fine print isn’t read, then we open ourselves up to fraud,” says Geoff who wishes to withhold his last name. “Unfortunately, that’s when the unscrupulous professional wins and will keep on winning.” Although a licensing body would help reduce the rising number of scams, it wouldn’t solve the issue. There will still be companies trying to make a quick buck, and consumers trying to save some money with the cheapest option. Regardless, there seems to be a huge “oversight that our government has let this one slide,” Scocco says. “Families are being hit right at their home where their entire life gets loaded onto a truck and held ransom. It’s unfortunate that our government hasn’t paid attention, because there have been attempts, and people have asked for attention to this matter.” 31 theregistrar.ca

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A new brand with the same commitment to safer, healthier, and greener communities.

www.mdrstrategy.ca


The Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association changes name in move toward single mandate of regulation By Leah Golob

nurse practitioner and president of the CRNS.

n late October, the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association (SNRA) announced it would be changing its name to the College of Registered Nurses of Saskatchewan (CRNS) in hopes of making their mandate clearer to nurses and the public.

The CNRS wanted to clarify its role is to ensure that all individuals in Saskatchewan are receiving safe professional care that meets the standards of practice from registered nurses and nurse practitioners, Verville says. While the SNRA always acted in the interest of the public and worked to ensure public protection, the inclusion of “association” in the former name didn’t clearly convey the regulator’s goals. The regulator hopes that use of “college” will be clearer.

Previously, the SNRA, which has over 12,000 members, had a dual mandate of regulation and serving as an association, says Frankie Verville,

“In order to work toward advancing the profession in terms of influencing health and social policy, it became very clear that it was confusing to peo-

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Now the CRNS has a sole mandate around regulation, and they’ve made room for a separate nursing association to take root in Saskatchewan. ple. Not only to members of the public, but also to registered nurses and nurse practitioners themselves because ‘association’ was in the name. It just really muddled the waters a lot,” Verville says. Now the CRNS has a sole mandate around regulation, and they’ve made

room for a separate nursing association to take root in Saskatchewan. Verville says one is currently in the works but doesn’t have an official name yet. “It is so important for the public to understand what the college stands for.” They want the public to know how to approach the college and why they might want to approach the college if they have any concerns, she says. In addition to a new name, the CRNS also has a new logo. The big “R” represents regulation and the “N,” which changes colours on the graphic version of the logo, stands for all the different types of nurses who have been working hard throughout the pandemic. 35

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Beyond magazine is a publication of the Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO).

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The BAO is a government delegated authority administering provisions of the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002 (FBCSA) on behalf of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. Responsible for protection of the public interest, the BAO regulates and supports licensed: funeral establishment operators, directors and preplanners; cemetery, crematorium and alternative disposition operators; transfer service operators; and bereavement sector sales representatives across Ontario. The BAO is wholly funded by licensee fees (not tax dollars).

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