Notice to the Consumer: A Richmond Hill cemetery is required to stop charging and collecting additional interment fees
Darul Barzakh Gardens cemetery in Richmond Hill has been required to stop charging and collecting additional interment rights (IR) fees from grieving families.
The cemetery’s owners and operators, the Officers of the Board of Muslim Green Cemeteries Corporation (MGCC), received a Registrar’s letter on Friday, June 16, 2023, as its actions are in contravention of the law, the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002.
MGCC, based in Scarborough, is required to stop charging and collecting any additional fees on IRs that have already been paid for in full, or that are being paid on a time-payment schedule as per their contract. MGCC must also refund all IR holders, who have been charged a fee in excess of what they originally paid according to the prices in effect when they pre-paid for their IRs within 30 days. MGCC is required to immediately issue all outstanding IR certificates to those who have already purchased interment rights.
In or around March and April 2023, the Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO) received several inquiries and complaints from IR holders at Darul Barzakh Gardens, 13076 Leslie Street, Richmond Hill, a cemetery owned and operated by MGCC.
The IR holders were concerned about being charged an additional fee for the interment rights at the cemetery, which they have already paid in full as a condition of receiving their long outstanding IR certificates.
As a result of these inquiries, an inspection of Muslim Green Cemeteries Corporation was conducted. The BAO confirmed that a number of IR holders, who have already paid in full for their IRs, have been invoiced an “additional membership fee” of $280 to $300 per interment right. It is understood that the IR holders are expected to pay the additional fee to MGCC, before MGCC will issue them their interment rights certificates.
If MGCC fails to comply with the letter, the Registrar may take further administrative action, including filing an Information under the Provincial Offences Act (if convicted, MGCC may be liable for a fine of up to $250,000), or issuing a Notice of Proposal to suspend or revoke the licence of MGCC as a cemetery operator.
Contact the BAO
If you have been charged extra fees for interment rights by MGCC, please contact BAO Inspector Kate Dafoe at 647-952-4170 or Kate.Dafoe@TheBAO.ca.
About the BAO
The Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO) is a government delegated authority and not-for-profit corporation administering provisions of the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002 (FBCSA) on behalf of the Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery. Responsible for protection of the public interest, the BAO regulates and supports licensed:
- Funeral establishment operators, directors and preplanners;
- Cemetery, crematorium and alternative disposition operators;
- Transfer service operators; and
- Bereavement sector sales representatives across Ontario.
The BAO is wholly funded by licensee fees (not tax dollars).