Incarceration for Regulatory Offences

Provincial offences for unauthorized practice or holding out usually result in fines, not jail. Especially for first offenders. However, that is not always the case. In Ontario (Travel Industry Council) v Robinson, 2019 ONCJ 888, the defendant was sentenced to 75 days and 45 days, respectively, for two convictions for acting as a travel agent without registration.

In imposing these sentences the Court expressed concern about the dishonesty of the defendant in promoting two trips. She took money from over 100 people and did not keep the funds in trust. When difficulties arose she concealed them and continued to promote the trips. For one trip she provided only one-way tickets to Florida and the travellers only learned they had no flight back after arriving. The other trip never occurred. The victims were out a total of $65,000. The victims had no recourse to the regulator’s compensation fund because the defendant was not registered.

The Court held that, in these circumstances, a fine was insufficient to protect the public.

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