Regulation in Ontario

This is a transcript from Yesterdays Hansards for Ontario.

CONSUMER PROTECTION
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.

http://www.ontla.on.ca/house-proceedings/transcripts/files_pdf/25-FEB-2014_L105.pdf

Look down it is on page 23. Thanks Nick!

The failure of HI licensing is real.

It fails because of lawyers, special interest groups and lawmakers do not require first, a setting, writing, and review of all SOP’s, rules, and regulations. This must be done first, to assure the confidence of home buyers that the HI will be thoroughly trained, tested, relied upon, and follow these SOP’s.

REA’s, lobbyists, and all HI’s must agree, submit, and approve all SOP’s and codes of ethics first.

If this is not done, failure will follow, as it did in Kansas.

If a law permits a board to write rules, regulations and SOP’s after laws are passed, the law will fail. No enforcement, laws will fail. No guard guarding the guard, laws will fail. Basic minimums will fail the confidence of home buyers. This all will hurt the lawmakers chance of re-elections.

All this has happened in Kansas. Do it right, or fail.

Member of Provincial Parliment - Etobicoke North

Dear Mr. Shafiq Qaadri,

I read with interest your query to the Minister of Consumer Services regarding the possibility of licencing home inspectors from the Official Report of Debates (Hansard) No. 105 Second Session, 40th Parliament.

Its unfortunate you do not speak from a position of facts. The facts are; home inspectors enjoy one of the lowest complaint rates compared to other industries given the number of home sale transactions conducted yearly in Ontario.

The MCS in its findings via the assembled panel released information suggesting without proof of any kind that there where approximately 380 law suits against home inspectors last year. However as an avid reader of case law related to home inspectons this figure seems very high. When I sought further information as to where these numbers where taken from or how they have been used (meritless complaints vs. valid complaints, minor vs. major) or whether they were provided by a third party (i.e. insurers, courts, independent research) or are over a one year period, two years, three years, et cetera. Either way no one seems willing to validate the number quoted. It is odd if this is the case that MCS are using skewed numbers to support its justification for licencing.

As you may know roofers, paving companies, renovation companies and others have a high complaint rate, why are these industries not be targeted by the Minister and MCS?

In addition, stats compiled by the Better Business Stats about home inspector complaints also shows very low numbers of complaints compared to other non-licenced trades.

Since this number is being used to justify a possible licencing bill I am asking you if you can verify these numbers and their source, since no one else including the Minister and the staff at MCS are unwilling to do so.

It’s regrettable that the Liberals, yourself included have gone Pollyanna - the sky is falling - in this approach.

The MCS and you need to be forth coming with further info so that there is no appearance of embellishments in order to promote something, which upon further investigation does not warrant licencing.

I am sure you can appreciate my concerns.

Thank you.

Yours very truly
Raymond Wand

Excellent response Ray, however even the issue (comment) of lack of “standards” needs to be addressed.

First there are standards. SOP and Standard of Care. Not to forget the “occupational standards”.

Regardless of “association” they pretty much provide a very similar scope of service to consumers. However, there is and can be inconsistencies in the actual fulfilment and accuracies by certain inspectors. I’m not questioning your rationale or logic, but even the “panel” had “some” questions left unanswered, because of a lack of accurate data.

Regardless - Bravo for your comments to the MPP and any others that take the time to try to set the facts straight !

Nice one Ray. You may through this route be able to get the actual source of the stats we were unable to on the panel.

Thanks gents.

I cannot stress enough that we all need to have these numbers verified.

Please, everyone, feel free to copy my letter to this MPP and sign your own name and/or send it to others within government.

No one should tolerate the government not being able to substantiate what it says is correct.

I am dismayed that MCS would not even clarify these numbers to the panel. Not at all acceptable given what licensing may end up doing to us all.

I will endeavour to send this to the MCS minister, Mr. Brezer, the conservative consumer affairs critic as well as others that should know about abuse of process by using unsubstantiated numbers.

As you know Ray, I have the email addresses both local constituency offices and Queens Park offices for every elected official in the Province of Ontario. I will gladly forward this response of yours to all.

I have futher thought that the letters should be addressed to the constituency staff members who will ultimately be effected by this nonsense i.e higher inspection fees. By informing these people possibly the impetus of bringing the email to the attention of the MMPs may be hastened.

Wow!!! Great to hear from you again Bryce. I agree it is time to hit hard and fast.
Now that Nick has the foot in the door they may try to close it if InterNachi backs off.

We all know all too well how the Liberals like to fudge numbers.

I also don’t understand how licencing can move forward without the CSA standards - A770.

Thanks Bryce for your efforts I know you are not one to sit and do nothing, so let them have it.

Thanks,

Kevin, Brenda and I have been renovating another house in Florida. Got back just in time for a blizzard!

Interesting note on Licensing. The Ontario Realtors DAA - RECO recently changed the rules allowing Realtors to engage in a deal that included both Fix price and Percentage payments. Prior to December 2013 any contract could have only one or the other. This prior service ensured that the Home Owner selling the property knew what the cost for the sale of the home would be.

Along came ComFree who’s model was Flat fee. Other realtors were losing out because they couldn’t introduce people to the ComFree network and earn anything from it, because ComFree could write a contract for Flat fee plus percentage.

So Realtors refused to introduce their clients to ComFree. This is obviously not in the interest of the public, and could even be a Code of Ethics violation. Realtors who do not work in the interest of their clients are obviously in breach, not introducing someone to a property just because you can earn anything from it is not in the interest of the client. Visa-vie a COE Violation.

So what happened? The Realtors all got together and had the DAA change the rules so that they could earn money from ComFree. The result? Now Realtors are free to add a fixed price portion AND a percentage payment into Contracts.

And this helps the consumer how? This shows that is the profession is strong enough, the Consumer protection emphasis on licensing goes out of the window and shows regulation for what it is, a tax grab.

Regulation only works for the Consumer if it is well formed AND if the Code of Ethics is also followed by the DAA. It seems in this last instance it maybe wasn’t.

This in conjunction with the WSIB changes, that blanketed Home Inspectors with the same regulations as Trade Electricians, shows while the initial intention appears to be good, the ongoing management of the DAAs in Ontario leaves something to be desired, It is therefore imperative that we as Home Inspectors have a solid voice in the DAA to ensure that the intent and the actuality of any enacted inspector regulations are aligned.

Len

How do we as inspectors change the DAA, when we have inspectors who for one reason or another say its useless to complain?

Its the quiet apathetic members who are going to ruin it for us and themselves. Pitiful.

Association representation is not the answer with the MCS as its a consensus based endeavour and given the MCS would not even explain themselves vis-a-vie the 390 figure they unjustly promote as factual?

Ray, are you coming to the CD conference?

Good morning Nick

I was planning on coming down Sat. evening, but I have thrown my back out and if I am not any better by tomorrow afternoon, I will not be able to come down. :frowning:

O.K.

Current MPPs

Current Party Standings

Total Seats: 107

  • Ontario Liberal Party:49

  • Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario:37

  • New Democratic Party of Ontario:21

What MPP list do you want to view? All MPPs Ministers Opposition Critics Parliamentary Assistants Ontario Liberal Party Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario New Democratic Party of Ontario
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Albanese, Laura York South–Weston Armstrong, Teresa J. London–Fanshawe Arnott, Ted Wellington–Halton Hills Bailey, Robert Sarnia–Lambton Balkissoon, Bas Scarborough–Rouge River Barrett, Toby Haldimand–Norfolk Bartolucci, Rick Sudbury Berardinetti, Lorenzo Scarborough Southwest Bisson, Gilles Timmins–James Bay Bradley, Hon James J. St. Catharines Campbell, Sarah Kenora–Rainy River Cansfield, Donna H. Etobicoke Centre Chan, Hon Michael Markham–Unionville Chiarelli, Hon Bob Ottawa West–Nepean Chudleigh, Ted Halton Clark, Steve Leeds–Grenville Colle, Mike Eglinton–Lawrence Coteau, Hon Michael Don Valley East Crack, Grant Glengarry–Prescott–Russell Damerla, Dipika Mississauga East–Cooksville Delaney, Bob Mississauga–Streetsville Del Duca, Steven Vaughan Dhillon, Vic Brampton West Dickson, Joe Ajax–Pickering DiNovo, Cheri Parkdale–High Park Duguid, Hon Brad Scarborough Centre Dunlop, Garfield Simcoe North Elliott, Christine Whitby–Oshawa Fedeli, Victor Nipissing Fife, Catherine Kitchener–Waterloo Flynn, Kevin Daniel Oakville Forster, Cindy Welland Fraser, John Ottawa South Gates, Wayne Niagara Falls Gélinas, France Nickel Belt Gerretsen, Hon John Kingston and the Islands Gravelle, Hon Michael Thunder Bay–Superior North Hardeman, Ernie Oxford Harris, Michael Kitchener–Conestoga Hatfield, Percy Windsor–Tecumseh Hillier, Randy Lanark–Frontenac–Lennox and Addington Holyday, Douglas C. Etobicoke–Lakeshore Horwath, Andrea Hamilton Centre Hoskins, Hon Eric St. Paul’s Hudak, Tim Niagara West–Glanbrook Hunter, Mitzie Scarborough–Guildwood Jackson, Rod Barrie Jaczek, Helena Oak Ridges–Markham Jeffrey, Hon Linda Brampton–Springdale Jones, Sylvia Dufferin–Caledon Klees, Frank Newmarket–Aurora Kwinter, Monte York Centre Leal, Hon Jeff Peterborough Leone, Rob Cambridge Levac, Hon Dave Brant MacCharles, Hon Tracy Pickering–Scarborough East MacLaren, Jack Carleton–Mississippi Mills MacLeod, Lisa Nepean–Carleton Mangat, Amrit Mississauga–Brampton South Mantha, Michael Algoma–Manitoulin Marchese, Rosario Trinity–Spadina Martow, Gila Thornhill Matthews, Hon Deborah London North Centre Mauro, Bill Thunder Bay–Atikokan McDonell, Jim Stormont–Dundas–South Glengarry McKenna, Jane Burlington McMeekin, Hon Ted Ancaster–Dundas–Flamborough–Westdale McNaughton, Monte Lambton–Kent–Middlesex McNeely, Phil Ottawa–Orléans Meilleur, Hon Madeleine Ottawa–Vanier Miller, Norm Parry Sound–Muskoka Miller, Paul Hamilton East–Stoney Creek Milligan, Rob E. Northumberland–Quinte West Milloy, Hon John Kitchener Centre Moridi, Hon Reza Richmond Hill Munro, Julia York–Simcoe Murray, Hon Glen R. Toronto Centre Naqvi, Hon Yasir Ottawa Centre Natyshak, Taras Essex Nicholls, Rick Chatham–Kent–Essex Orazietti, Hon David Sault Ste. Marie O’Toole, John Durham Ouellette, Jerry J. Oshawa Pettapiece, Randy Perth–Wellington Piruzza, Hon Teresa Windsor West Prue, Michael Beaches–East York Qaadri, Shafiq Etobicoke North Sandals, Hon Liz Guelph Sattler, Peggy London West Schein, Jonah Davenport Scott, Laurie Haliburton–Kawartha Lakes–Brock Sergio, Hon Mario York West Singh, Jagmeet Bramalea–Gore–Malton Smith, Todd Prince Edward–Hastings Sousa, Hon Charles Mississauga South Tabuns, Peter Toronto–Danforth Takhar, Harinder S. Mississauga–Erindale Taylor, Monique Hamilton Mountain Thompson, Lisa M. Huron–Bruce Vanthof, John Timiskaming–Cochrane Walker, Bill Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound Wilson, Jim Simcoe–Grey Wong, Soo Scarborough–Agincourt Wynne, Hon Kathleen O. Don Valley West Yakabuski, John Renfrew–Nipissing–Pembroke Yurek, Jeff Elgin–Middlesex–London Zimmer, Hon David Willowdale

Roy :

If those numbers you quote are correct why are the liberals still in power
37+21=58
58 is more than 49… at least it was when I learned how to add and subtract!

Oh yea the NDP and PC parties would have to get along with each other:shock:

Stand by they will all vote against the Liberals then we have an election soon I hope