New rules in Ontario funeral market

Ontario consumers will get more protection when it comes to their decisions surrounding funerals.

The province's consumer minister, Tim Hudak, has introduced legislation to protect vulnerable buyers who may be pressured into purchasing expensive caskets and head stones.

"(We) want to ensure that people who are dealing (with) a very sensitive time of their lives have a clear indication of what they paid for and what they're getting and the recourse if they don't get what they had intended," said Hudak.

The proposed rules would:

  • Force casket and headstone retailers to obtain licences
  • Oblige casket and headstone retailers to follow a code of ethics
  • Require casket and headstone retailers to have a standardized price list
  • Prevent cemeteries from offering deals on caskets and headstones when people purchase a burial plot
  • Provide a 30-day cooling-off period for consumers to change their minds when planning ahead for their funerals
  • Create a compensation fund to reimburse people for services that aren't provided as promised
  • Allow funeral homes to be built on the grounds of a cemetery

"I think it's important for consumers, if they're making a decision about which funeral parlour to use, which cemetery or casket maker, that they understand what the business relationship is between each," said Hudak.