“A travesty”: Industry feedback as tensions mount over Comp Fund review process

“We understand the industry’s keen anticipation for the outcome”: TICO updates funding, fee review

TORONTO — TICO says it’s eager to share the findings of a months-long review of its funding framework and fee model – but cautions there are still more steps to complete before the industry can have a look.

Earlier this month ACTA and CATO issued a joint statement protesting what they say is a lack of transparency so far in the TICO funding review. “CATO and ACTA have joined forces once again to speak out about shared concerns about the provincial regulator and in particular their opposition to maintaining the current registrant fee system to fund the Ontario Consumer Compensation Fund,” they said in the statement. More from that story can be found here.

In September 2022 TICO announced it was initiating a review process with consulting firm Optimus SBR that includes an end-to-end look at TICO’s current funding framework, as well as a full review of the Comp Fund. It’s the most comprehensive review in TICO’s 25-year history, and as TICO CEO Richard Smart told trade media at the press conference, “all options are on the table” for the Comp Fund, from a consumer-pay model, to a risk-based model, to eliminating the Fund altogether.


Today TICO issued a status update on the funding framework and fee model review.

Since fall 2022 and through the early months of 2023, Optimus SBR analyzed TICO’s existing funding framework, fee structure and the Comp Fund, while feedback was gathered from stakeholders, registrants and Ontario consumers.

Once its review wrapped up in spring 2023, Optimus SBR prepared its recommendations.

“We understand the industry’s keen anticipation for the review’s outcome,” said Smart in today’s statement. “While we are equally eager to disclose the findings, we are currently finalizing our fee review analysis (business case), which will be submitted to the Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery prior to launching consultations. It would be premature to share incomplete information at this stage.”

Any changes to registrant fees must follow a thorough process and criteria, as outlined in the Administrative Agreement between TICO and the Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery, Smart added.

The business case is subject to final approval by TICO’s Board of Directors and will be submitted to the Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery, in accordance with the agreement.

Meanwhile a comprehensive consultation is expected to begin this fall, inviting all registrants and stakeholders to provide their feedback to TICO through both in-person and virtual sessions. Details will be shared in advance, says Smart.

TICO’s statement noted that TICO’s future funding model will be premised on a set of well-founded guiding principles that strive to achieve fairness, simplicity, efficiency and enhanced transparency.

The statement also said: “In keeping with our mandate, TICO continues to practice prudent financial management. Over the last five years, total operating expenses have declined by 0.7% annually, on average. We continue to look for efficiencies, while supporting Ontario’s travel consumers.”

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