ONTARIO: The Limitations Act still has nothing to do with the Consumer Reporting Act

The plaintiff in Grant v. Equifax Canada Co advanced a quite clever, but entirely incorrect argument that the Limitations Act applies to the Consumer Reporting Act, which we wrote about here.

The Court of Appeal upheld the motion judge’s decision rejecting the argument:

[5]         The CRA provides for a regulatory scheme for the fair reporting of information regarding an individual’s history of credit activities. The CRA requires the registration of consumer reporting agencies, permits consumer reporting information to be provided only for certain prescribed purposes, and sets out standards for consumer reporting.

[6]         The Limitations Act, 2002, by contrast, applies to bar “claims pursued in court proceedings” that are commenced outside the applicable limitation period. The Act does not apply to the CRA, whether expressly or by implication. Indeed, the CRA contains its own specific provisions prohibiting the inclusion of certain information in consumer reports, including debts or collections more than seven years old, unless confirmation that the debt or collection is not barred has been obtained. The CRA expressly contemplates that debts not reduced to judgment that are up to seven years old may be reported (see s. 9(3)(f)). This makes sense, as the passing of a limitation period does not extinguish a debt; it only precludes the commencement of a court proceeding for its enforcement. As such, the reporting of debts after a limitation period has passed, is not inconsistent with the purposes of the CRA, and is expressly contemplated by its terms.