Licensing is coming to Ontario. You might not like it, you might think it poses no benefits but it’s coming.
The Minister for Government and Consumer Services, the Hon. Marie-France Lalonde MPP, today announced that the existing Private Members Bill entered into the assembly by Mr Han Dong MPP for Trinity Spadina would be superseded by a government Bill to License home Inspectors within Ontario.
In discussions after the announcement with the Minister, Mr Dong and the staff from the ministry, the members for OntarioACHI identified a number of issues that affect the profession in Ontario.
We discussed the issues of mandatory E&O Insurance and it’s impact on the part-time inspector. Captive insurance and pro-rata premiums based upon the annual inspections were discussed. The issue of mandatory inspections was raised, to combat the recent high volume of real-estate transactions that have taken place without inspections. We did not get a negative from any of the government representatives on this issue. Indeed when we also discussed the issue of mandatory energy audits and the ease of which we could introduce a real-estate short-term radon test into the inspection process, the latter being something that has the potential to save over 5,000 Canadian lives every year, the possibility of mandatory inspections for a home one spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on more akin to the mandatory testing one has to have on a resale vehicle which generally costs less than a tenth of that.
While many will see licensing as providing no positive solution for the consumer, we believe that working together, with the independent DAA that is to be set-up will be the best way to represent the needs of the consumer, the inspector and the profession.
At the meeting today, there were members of the original stakeholders group representing from the Inspection profession CAHPI, the NHICC, OntarioACHI and InterNACHI. Conspicuous by there absence were any of the board from OAHI. It is likely that the regulations going forward will have an impact of Bill PR158, the act that established the OAHI, as it would be impossible to have two organisations that represent themselves as “regulators” for the profession.
If, as it is believed, PR158 gets repealed, the OAHI would have to incorporate itself as a corporation (either for or not-for profit) in order to continue it’s existence.
The Bill is likely to be introduced into the assembly soon after the recommencement, and as Mr Han Dongs private members bill garnered all party support from both sides of the assembly, dissension for a Government Bill on the part of the PC or NDP would be seen purely as political malice. With a Government majority in the Assembly, we believe the regulations will move swiftly through the assembly and the hard work, of designing the regulations and how they impact the profession while providing real protection for the consumers, will start before the end of the year.
I for one am looking forward to the removal of many of the cowboys and cut-price inspectors from our profession, and moving forward with a profession we can be passionately positive about.
I believe that Ontario has the opportunity to set standards in Canada that are second to none with respect to really protecting the public while at the same time bringing professionalism to the home Inspection industry that has been promised since 1994, but has failed to be delivered.