Seniors Gateway to Legal Information & Resources

June 25, 2017

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Consumer Fraud        Elder Abuse


Consumer Fraud

Bankruptcy Superintendant
Links to legislation, forms, and publications for debtors and creditors, and information about consumer (bankruptcy) proposals, complaints, and inquiries.

Better Business Bureau of Mainland British Columbia

Better Business Bureau of Vancouver Island

Better Business Bureaus, Canadian Council of
Includes list of Better Business Bureaus throughout Canada.

Business Practices and Consumer Protection Authority
The authority administers consumer protection legislation in the Province of BC, as a result of three consumer protection statutes passed in July of 2004. These three new statutes are: Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act; Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act; and Business Practices and Consumer Protection Authority Act. The Acts replace a series of previous consumer protection laws. All three Acts are described on this page. There are also options to download the Acts themselves.

Consumer Information

  • Prevention
    Some guidelines for protecting yourself, and an overview of what to do if a problem does arise.

  • Consumer Assistance Directory
    The directory is a resource guide of names, addresses and telephone numbers of agencies and associations that may be able to help with specific problems. Some of the organizations charge a fee for services. The directory also provides information on how to avoid consumer problems and what you can do if problems arise.

  • Consumer Help
    These pages are designed to help you with specific areas of concern. Most of the tips sheets relate to areas which are regulated by the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Authority. Tip sheets include the following areas:
    Cemeteries and Funerals; Debt Collection; Direct Sellers; Travel Services; and Identity Theft.

Loan and Credit Scams
The People's Law School site outlines some of the ways people are tricked while trying to solve a debt problem.

People's Law School
Legal Information on a variety of topics, presented in plain language, as well as a list of available publications.

Small Claims Courts
BC Ministry of Attorney General site with information on court procedure and all of the Small Claims Rules.


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Elder Abuse

411 Seniors Centre
See the link for Information and Referral Services. The drop down list has links to both In House and Outreach Counselling Services. To talk directly to a counselor, call reception at 604-684-8171, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm and ask to speak to a counselor. Drop in services are also available during these hours.

BC Coalition to Eliminate Abuse of Seniors (BC CEAS)
Information about many forms of abuse perpetrated against seniors and what you can do to protect yourself. BC CEAS is a province-wide forum whose members are working together to eliminate this abuse.

Financial Exploitation – Public Guardian and Trustee’s Office
Steps you can take to get support and/or report abuse of an adult who is experiencing financial exploitation, as well as other forms of abuse.

Health Units – BC Health Authorities
Links to all provincial health authorities. Your region’s health authority web site has a list of health units in your region. You can call the health unit for your area, and ask to talk to someone with Health Services for Older Adults. This staff person will be able to help you with concerns related to elder abuse.

Mental Health Information Line
Call toll free: 1-800-661-2121 or in Vancouver, call: (604) 669-7600. This 24-hour taped information service provides information on provincial mental health programs as well as symptoms, causes, treatment, support groups and publications relating to a number of mental illnesses.

Ministry of Health General Information Line
The person who answers the phone can connect you with your local health unit or a mental health worker in your area. You can also get the number of the Community Care Facilities Licensing Officer in your area if you need to report abuse occurring in a care facility or group home. Call toll free: 1-800-465-4911 or, in Victoria, call: (250) 952-1742. The line operates from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Callers will get a recorded message during off-hours.

Peer Counselling – Outreach and In House Services
Contact information for Seniors Peer Counsellors in the Lower Mainland. The peer counselors are lay counsellors who have been trained to deal with seniors’ concerns.

Public Guardian and Trustee Services to Adults Unable to Manage Their Own Affairs
A brief description of the three main departments of the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee that provide services to adults who may need help managing their affairs. You can also link directly to each of the department’s web pages: Assessment and Investigation Services, Private Committee Services or Client Services. For contact information for each of these departments, click here. You will have to scroll down the page a little to get to the numbers you’re looking for.

Representation Agreement Resource Centre
Making and registering a Representation Agreement is a way to stay in control of your affairs.  It prevents abuse if you should become incapable of managing your affairs.

VictimLINK
Information on this new 24-hour, multilingual, province-wide service for victims of family and sexual violence, and all other crimes. You can also call the toll-free telephone support and information line (1 800 563-0808) to talk to a trained staff person. This person will connect you to community, social, health, justice and government resources, including local victim services. You will also be given basic legal information and an understanding of your rights and options.

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