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ACTA and CATO withdraw appointees from TICO Board, TICO responds

TORONTO — ACTA and CATO are playing hardball in the name of consumer protection, taking the unprecedented step of withdrawing their appointees from the TICO Board until given the opportunity to meet with Ontario Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery Kaleed Rasheed.

The two associations are also asking for a copy of TICO’s recommendations to the Ontario government on future fees and Compensation Fund funding.

The TICO Board of Directors is expected to give final approval today, July 25, on TICO’s recommendations to the Ontario government on TICO’s future fee structure and Compensation Fund funding, which will be sent to the Minister for his review.

“Our associations want to provide all information before the Minister makes a decision. We believe a long-time request for a better consumer protection system in Ontario and a consideration of the financial burden put on an industry, which hasn’t recovered yet from the pandemic, has, once again, been ignored. We want to be included in Ontario’s ‘Open for Business’ plan,” said Jean Hébert, CATO Executive Director. 

Wendy Paradis, ACTA president, added: “ACTA and CATO have been denied details on the fee mechanism despite a decade of advocating for change. Both ACTA and CATO have appointees on the TICO board and yet, have been excluded from this information despite numerous requests.”

Hébert noted that once approved by the TICO Board, Minister Rasheed will have 45 days to reach without having heard the concerns from the industry.

“The two associations want to make their position known to the Minister given that the industry has once again been denied a legislated consumer contribution ‘insurance’ protection system in Ontario, comparable to the one that is so appreciated in Quebec,” said Hébert. 

“In our experience, while consultations are expected after the Ministerial review, if all the necessary documentation is not contained in the report, it is difficult for recommendations to change,” he added.

ACTA and CATO have sent a joint letter to Minister Rasheed requesting an urgent meeting to discuss a fairer funding system.


In response to the news, TICO’s CEO, Richard Smart, issued the following statement:

“TICO is governed by its Board of Directors and the Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery. Further details regarding industry appointments to TICO’s Board of Directors will be disclosed in due course. TICO remains steadfast in its commitment to consumer protection and will continue to actively engage with all stakeholders.

“Throughout the funding review, which launched in September 2022, we have placed great emphasis on conducting a thorough and inclusive consultative process, actively seeking input from Ontario consumers, registrants, and industry stakeholders, a practice we will continue. Our approach hinges on striking a delicate balance between the interests of Ontario consumers and the industry, while also thoughtfully considering the real-world implications of any recommendations in the broader economic and political context.

“As previously communicated, TICO must follow a set process prior to releasing any recommendations publicly. A comprehensive industry consultation is expected to launch this fall.


Last month, ACTA and CATO expressed their joint frustration over the lack of transparency on the financial impact on TICO registrants.

“Our joint action sends a clear message to government that we oppose this process. We also want to emphasize what ACTA and CATO have long been calling for – a regulator that should be the ‘right size’ to match the industry it is regulating, not one that is considering an increased financial burden on its registrants – especially when it is those same registrants that were the hardest hit businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Paradis.

Noting how important it is for both associations to stand up for both the travel industry and the public interest, and take a stand for a better Ontario Compensation Fund funding model, Hébert added that “for all those reason, we do not want to put our appointees in a situation that raises a fundamental conflict of interest.”

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