This is a transcript from Yesterdays Hansards for Ontario.
Mr. Shafiq Qaadri:
Ma question est pour la ministre des Services aux consommateurs, the Honourable Tracy MacCharles.
Speaker, as you’ll appreciate, purchasing a home—a place of one’s very own—is part of the Canadian dream. Such purchases are usually the biggest transaction that people are likely to engage in during their entire lives. This is especially true in my own riding of Etobicoke North. As stewards of this marketplace, the government of Ontario must help people feel protected, informed, knowledgeable and fully apprised of their options. This is not just a real estate transaction, but a visible and tangible correlate of people’s hopes, dreams and aspirations. In Ontario, Speaker, quite reasonably, we’re finding more and more people requesting a home inspection before finalizing the purchase agreement. But how can we ensure that those home inspection reports are valid, sound and up to standard? I’d ask the minister to please inform this chamber: How can we work collectively to make sure that Ontarians are protected when making this important, lifechanging purchase?
Hon. Tracy MacCharles:
I want to thank the member from Etobicoke North for this fabulous question. It’s very timely. Speaker, the House may or may not know that more than 70% of resale homes being inspected in Ontario are taking those inspections, which is 140,000 homes next year. That’s a lot of home inspections. The member is correct in saying that a home inspection that’s sound, conducted by someone who’s trained and experienced and professional can provide that sense of assurance and confidence before people make a big purchase, often their biggest one, and sign on a dotted line. The member is also correct in saying that there is currently no minimum standard, no qualification standard whatsoever for home inspectors in this province. There are many good ones, but there are no standards. That’s why we established a panel of experts. The panel has met several times. A report has been submitted, and we are currently reviewing the report and looking forward to the next steps.
Mr. Shafiq Qaadri: Thank you, Minister, for addressing this important file. I know that constituents in my own riding of Etobicoke North will benefit from this added scrutiny of the home inspection domain. Speaker, as a government, of course, it’s important for us to ensure that all Ontarians trust and have confidence in the goods and services they are buying. The larger the purchase, the more important it is that there’s equity and transparency. As the qualifications and changes to the sector being considered will be of huge importance and will impact home-buying decisions across Ontario, can the minister please share with this House when we can expect these decisions to be made to benefit potential home buyers?
Hon. Tracy MacCharles:
After we received the report, it was posted on the Ontario government registry from mid-December to January 27, and the next step, of course, is to analyze both the panel’s recommendations as well as the feedback we received from the public. We have every intention of moving forward with this very, very soon, and when we do, Speaker, I certainly hope, I really hope, that we will have all-party support for this legislation. I am confident that our government is not alone in caring about the fate of home purchasers in Ontario. I want to all the members who worked on the panel for getting us to this point, and I look forward to bringing something forward to the House very, very soon.