• Mississauga Calls on Province to Impose Ban on Door-to-Door Sales

    Mississauga City Council passed a motion yesterday calling on the Province of Ontario to impose a ban on door-to-door sales activities in the home services sector. The ban specifically addresses the sale or lease of heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, water heaters, water filtration systems and other related home energy products and services by door-to-door sales agents.


    The motion, brought forward by Ward 2 Councillor Karen Ras, urges other municipalities to join with Mississauga in calling on the Province to act.


    “Even with the recently implemented Stronger Protection for Ontario Consumers Act in April 2015, homeowners have continued to experience unsolicited, aggressive and misleading sales tactics at their door from companies seeking to sell home energy products,” said Councillor Ras. “These sellers are thumbing their noses at the existing provincial legislation. They misrepresent their identities, pose as government safety inspectors and tell their victims that they are there to conduct so-called mandatory checks. I’ve experienced this kind of behaviour myself, and we need to put a stop to it.”


    The motion comes as part of a campaign called ‘StopTheKnocks’ which encourages homeowners across Ontario to lend their voices by signing the online petition on Change.org.


    “It is important for homeowners to know their rights when it comes to door-to-door sales,” said Janice Baker, City Manager and Chief Administrative Officer. “We ask residents to always be cautious when approached by anyone offering goods and services door-to-door.”

  • Freedom Pass for Mississauga Youth (Ages 12 to 14)

    For a third straight year, the City of Mississauga is offering youth ages 12 to 14 the Freedom Pass. The popular pass provides incentives like swimming for free at City pools and riding MiWay free all summer long. The pass begins on July 1 and is valid through to August 31.


    “Summer is the perfect time for youth to get comfortable using transit,” said Geoff Marinoff, Transit Director. “Our goal with the program is to encourage them to take part in community events and programs around the city, while becoming familiar with MiWay transit routes.”


    This year the Freedom Pass includes a Green Challenge, which encourages Freedom Pass holders to do green activities around Mississauga such as tree planting, visit a Farmers Market, volunteer at an Earth Market or participate in a bike ride. Pass holders participating in a green activity can take a selfie and upload it to their Instagram, Facebook or Twitter account using the hashtag #freetobegreen. Photos will be shared on the City’s Storify page.


    Applying for a Pass
    Applications for the Freedom Pass start on Sunday, May 1 (10,000 passes are available).

    • Visit mississauga.ca/freedompass.
    • Complete the application (parent/guardian signature is needed);
    • Bring the completed application, along with a piece photo ID displaying proof of age, to any City-operated community centre.
    • A photo will be taken by the customer service staff to create a personalized Freedom Pass.


    Only valid, photographed Freedom Pass holders are eligible to ride MiWay for free. All other riders must pay regular fares. To learn more about MiWay, visit miway.ca or plan a route with the Plan a Trip tool or call 905-615-INFO (4636) for route and schedule information.

    For more on the Freedom Pass, please visit: mississauga.ca/freedompass.

  • Home Safe Home Campaign

    Most Fires are Preventable: Home Safe Home Campaign Kicks Off in Mississauga


     Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services (MFES) want you to open your door this Spring and Summer when fire crews come knocking to talk about fire safety.


    Home Safe Home (HSH) is a free city-wide education and awareness program that teaches residents about fire prevention and life safety. Until September, fire crews will be going door to door distributing fire safety materials and conducting fire safety surveys to ensure that residents have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.


    “In Mississauga we are on a mission to zero – zero deaths and zero injuries due to fire,” said Jamie Zimmerman, Assistant Chief, Fire Prevention and Life Safety, MFES. “It should be unacceptable in today’s society for people to die in fires. Most fires are 100 per cent preventable. Think about it. It’s up to you.”


    According to Zimmerman, there are three simple steps that could mean the difference between life and death which are:

    1. install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in the proper location(s);
    2. develop a fire escape plan; and
    3. practice the plan on a regular basis.


    During Home Safe Home, MFES encourages anyone with elderly parents or neighbours to check on them often, help them check their alarms and talk to them about their fire escape plans.


    “We need to work together to influence and improve behaviour when it comes to fire safety,” added Zimmerman. “Be your family’s hero and keep them safe. There’s no excuse when it’s so easy to do.”


    Birnie CurrentSAFE, a Mississauga-based electrical contractor has partnered with MFES for a third year to help spread the home fire safety message.


    “We are proud to partner with MFES in their mission to save lives and prevent catastrophic losses,” said Tim Birnie, President, Birnie CurrentSAFE. “We have the same goal – to keep families and their homes safe.”


    For information about the program, visit mfeshomesafehome.ca or call Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services, Fire Prevention and Life Safety at 905-896-5908.


    To request a free HSH visit, call MFES Headquarters at 905-615-3777.

  • “StopTheKnocks” Campaign Launched to Urge the Province to Ban Door-to-Door Sales of Home Services

    Two GTA Councillors, one from Mississauga and one from Markham, are calling for the Province to implement a ban on door-to-door sales and urge other municipalities to join them in convincing the Government of Ontario to act immediately.

    Campaign encourages all Ontarians to sign the online petition calling for provincial action


    MISSISSAUGA and MARKHAM, Ontario, April 19, 2016 — Two GTA Councillors are launching a campaign that calls for a province-wide ban of door-to-door sales in the home service sector, including water heaters, water filtration systems, and furnaces. While in 2015 the Government of Ontario implemented new rules that imposed significant restrictions on how such door-to-door sellers could approach, speak, and close sales at people’s homes, some companies in the industry have continued to mislead, misrepresent, and use tactics of fear and pressure to sell people services they neither need or want. These contracts often are sold with inflated prices and severe cancellation fees.


    Isaac Rudik and Stacie Sommer are just two of many victims of Ontario’s door-to-door home service sellers. They thought that the current consumer protection legislation would protect them.

    “Literally the day after we moved into our new home, someone claiming to be from Enbridge showed up at our door to inspect our equipment, told us our equipment had to be upgraded, and came back the next week to exchange it,” said Isaac Rudik who along with his partner Stacie Sommer moved to their new home in Vaughan earlier this spring.  “Every one of the so-called protection measures the Province introduced a year ago were broken by the fraudster that came to our door”, said Rudik.  “They even went so far as to impersonate me when speaking with our original provider, and did it after the 20 day cooling off period so that we would be stuck,” added Sommer.


    “Sadly, this case is not isolated”, said Karen Ras, Councillor, City of Mississauga. “These sellers are thumbing their noses at the existing provincial legislation. They misrepresent their identities, pose as government safety inspectors and tell their victims that they are there to conduct so-called mandatory checks.  I’ve experienced this kind of behavior myself, and we need to put a stop to it.”

    Often these ‘checks’ result in the discovery of ‘critical problems’ that can only be resolved by replacing the water heater, filtration system, or furnace. In reality, dishonest salespeople have duped unsuspecting residents into signing up for a much more expensive agreement with significant cancellation fees.


    Ras is putting forward a motion at Mississauga’s Council meeting on April 27th that will urge the Province of Ontario to completely ban the door-to-door sales of home services products and services. Campbell will put forward a similar motion in Markham the following week.  The Province recently took action by banning door-to-door sales for electricity and natural gas contracts by passing the Strengthening Consumer Protection and Electricity System Oversight Act, 2015.


    The motion will also urge both cities to initiate a communications program to inform residents of the dangers of buying from door-to-door sellers. And both Councillors are urging other municipalities to join the call for a provincial ban.


    The effort by Councillors Ras and Campbell build on the grassroots campaign that Rudik is launching through a petition on Change.org (http://chn.ge/1SmY9A8).  Homeowners across Ontario are encouraged to lend their voices by signing the online petition, and encouraging other municipalities in Ontario to put forward similar motions of their own.


    “This is not just a Mississauga or Markham issue, but one that crosses every community in the province, from Thunder Bay to Toronto,” said Campbell.  “I am very disappointed that these companies continue to engage in these deceitful practices.  They do not fear prosecution under the current legislation. Homeowners must be protected.  Only a total ban on their door-to-door activities will achieve this.”


    Added Rudik: “The province’s legislation doesn’t work – they need to create a ban and stop this nonsense once and for all.”


    One such company has been recently charged with 142 breaches of the Consumer Protection Act due to this fraudulent and misleading sales conduct.  However, previous attempts by the Province to protect Ontarians have been unsuccessful.


    For further information, please feel free to contact me at 905-896-5200 or karen.ras@mississauga.ca.

  • Residential Stormwater Workshop Presentation

    If you were able to attend the Residential Stormwater Workshop on April 13th, thank you for coming and I hope you found it a useful forum to express your concerns. I know several residents told me they wanted to attend, but couldn’t. Below is the link to the power-point slides from the workshop. There will be more information circulated at a later date, but I thought posting these slide may be helpful and informative.


    Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns about the attached slides or the workshop yesterday.


    Residential Program Workshop Presentation

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