Planning Ahead Eases The Stress Of Funeral Arrangements



    Government Provides Tips On Making A Difficult Time A Little Easier

    QUEEN'S PARK, Jan. 8 /CNW/ - The more people prepare in advance for
funeral and cemetery arrangements the easier it will be for Ontarians and
their families, Government and Consumer Services Minister Ted McMeekin said
today.
    "It's something we don't always want to consider, but planned funeral and
cemetery arrangements can definitely help Ontarians deal with this difficult
time," said McMeekin. "Our best advice for consumers is to be properly
prepared and to use this important information to make well informed choices."
    The Ontario government helps protect Ontario consumers with its 2008
Smart Consumer Calendar, providing consumers with tips and resources while
educating them about frauds and scams in the marketplace. The month of January
in this year's calendar features useful guidance from the Board of Funeral
Services.

    Minister McMeekin advises consumers who are making funeral and cemetery
arrangements to:

    
    -   Ask for a price list and get a copy of the contract for anything you
        buy;
    -   Read the contract carefully to know exactly what you have paid for;
    -   Prearrange and prepay only with licensed providers; and
    -   Insist on a receipt for money held in trust if you do prepay, or get
        a copy of the insurance policy you purchased.

    Anyone with questions regarding this or other consumer protection
initiatives should contact the province's toll free consumer hotline at
1-800-889-9768 (in Toronto at 416-326-8800), or visit the Ontario Consumer
Protection website at ontario.ca/consumerprotection. For more information on
funeral homes and transfer services, visit www.funeralboard.com.
    The 2008 Smart Consumer Calendar can be downloaded from the ministry's
website at www.mgs.gov.on.ca, or ordered free of charge at
www.serviceontario.ca/publications. Orders can also be made by calling toll
free 1-800-668-9938, and in the Toronto area at 416-326-5300.

                           Disponible en français
                              www.mgs.gov.on.ca


    Backgrounder

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                       CONSUMER PROTECTION IN ONTARIO
                     AND THE 2008 SMART CONSUMER CALENDAR

    2008 Smart Consumer Calendar

    The 2008 Smart Consumer Calendar provides consumers with helpful tips and
resources, while educating them about frauds and scams in the marketplace.

    -   The ministry is distributing 275,000 English and 30,000 French copies
        of the calendar to individuals and organizations across Ontario.
    -   The calendar is available at all MPP constituency offices, and at all
        Service Ontario / government information centres.
    -   The calendar can be ordered by individuals and groups, free of
        charge, by calling 1-800-668-9938, or by ordering online at
        www.serviceontario.ca/publications.
    -   The calendar can also be downloaded from the ministry's website at
        www.ontario.ca/consumerprotection.
    -   The 2008 Smart Consumer calendar is proudly sponsored by a number of
        private and public sector organizations, who work to protect both
        consumers and businesses across Ontario from frauds and scams,
        including:
           -  Board of Funeral Services
           -  Financial Services Commission of Ontario
           -  Ministry of Health Promotion
           -  Ontario Energy Board
           -  Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council
           -  Real Estate Council of Ontario
           -  Bank of Canada
           -  Investor Education Fund
           -  Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan
           -  Canadian Health Care Anti-Fraud Association
           -  Interac Association
           -  Canada Revenue Agency - Charities Directorate


    Disponible en français
                              www.mgs.gov.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Greg Dennis, Minister's Office,
Office: (416) 327-3072, Cell: (647) 281-4403; Ciaran Ganley, Communications
Branch, (416) 325-8659

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