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Council looks at supporting a motion that will allow municipalities to ban specific door-to-door sales

Timmins is looking at possibly supporting a motion which will allow municipalities to ban door-to-door sales people selling electricity and natural gas contracts. The request comes from the Township of Wellington North, who wants the option to ban these types of sales.

The way it works now, businesses going door-to-door have to buy a business license from the city. City Clerk Steph Palmateer says they need to have a reason to stop selling a specific business a license, as they have a right to carry on business in Ontario. Palmateer says companies are well aware of that right, and banning them would only last for 24 hours before they are back at it.

Wellington North is working to have that legislation changed. They want municipalities to have the option to ban door-to-door sales.

Councillor Andre Grzela says he is on board with the pitch, saying he hears a lot of concerns about the issue while working at MPP Gilles Bisson’s office. He says people will come in looking for help after they were seemingly forced to buy into a contract. Grzela says the sales people know how to play the system. He says they’ve been at it for a long time, and have been taught how to do so. He says the city should do whatever it takes to fight the enabling of people going to someone’s door.

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Councillor Andrew Marks echoed those comments, but also points out it would not be a total ban on door-to-door sales, and would just apply to home energy products. He says a complete ban is not what the resolution is asking, and says he doesn’t want to get into that. But, he says when misrepresentation, contracts, or strong-arm tactics are involved, it should absolutely be stopped.

Mayor Steve Black says if you haven’t called about your furnace, air conditioner, or any other unit, the best course of action is to say no and close the door. Black also points out if you are having an issue with someone being aggressive or continuing to push, call the city clerk’s office or the licensing department. He says the only way the city can take action is if they get an official report from the public. Black also says if the sales person is aggressive enough, call the police.

Council is going to vote on the issue at a later date. If it passes, it means council will be supporting the motion to lobby the Ontario government, and not actually banning any door-to-door sales people yet.

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