Everyone is looking at this piece of legislation as a big stick to whack Home Inspectors with.
The right of entry and inspection has been part of multiple pieces of legislation in Ontario for years, and the rights extend to municipality inspectors.
The former only applies to business locations and to dwellings solely where exigent circumstances occur that require emergency entry. The latter is more invasive. While this is, I believe, an excessive use of legal power, that should be restricted to that given to the police and other peace officers, it does have a flip-side.
Imagine if you will, a General Contractor, or Realtor who offers their services for Home Inspections without a License. This person is taking business away from a properly licensed Home Inspector, and may be creating an adverse risk to the consumer. This legislation, however draconian, does allow the DAA to investigate.
While I personally think this type of inspection or investigation would be better in the hands of the Police services, with the industry specific inspector in-tow, there is insufficient funding of the Police services across Canada and the Provinces to provide the manpower for this type of work. Thus we end up with people who are neither members of the Government nor Peace Officers getting arbitrary powers to enter and search. In addition, if they claim such action is based upon “good faith” there is no recourse to sue.
That is, as Roy stated, a problem endemic to a society that is incapable of identifying their rights are being eroded a piece at a time.
Unfortunately getting those rights back, when there is so much precedent of them already having been withdrawn by Government (of all colours), is nigh impossible.
We therefore have to continue to work with, not against, the government to ensure the legislature recognizes that it’s not a one-size-fits-all, and the needs of Home Inspectors, who are also consumers and voters, need to be taken into account, and modify any legislation accordingly.