Mr.LeBlanc, media contact for the Ministry of Consumer Services, posted a comment yesterday on this blog in reply to our request to Tarion to release a transcript of the Annual Public Meeting consumer question-and-answer period. He says we’ve already received that in the Tarion-generated “summary” Tarion posted on-line.
Let’s not quibble about semantics. What we are asking for is a correct and accurate rendition of our questions we asked at this public meeting. Many consumers have stated their questions have been substantially modified, or incomplete in this “summary”. This is not an accurate record of what went on at the APM. We are asking for an actual verbatim transcript. Tarion does have this, since they were forced to provide parts of it last year in response to consumer complaints, and since The Toronto Star journalist had recorded the meeting.
We are asking for accurate written documentation, a verbatim transcript, call it what you want, of consumer questions asked at the Annual Public Meeting on April 25th, 2013 and on April 30th 2014. This is not the “summary” which Tarion has posted on-line.
Interesting also is that an important commitment made by a Tarion senior executive to the audience – which was met with a round of applause – does not seem to appear in Tarion’s “summary”.
We are asking for a fully accurate transcript, an official written documentation of what questions were asked on the record. Call it what you want, you now have enough consumers writing to your Ministry to say this Tarion “summary” is inaccurate, not a true record of what they asked at that “public” meeting, nor an accurate account of what was promised or answered in the Q&A period. It would be also important to know which board members signed off on this Tarion “summary” as a true and accurate record of what was said.
Several Ministry public servants were at that meeting: four, as far as we can tell. Transparency and accountability… here’s an opportunity for this government with “oversight” over Tarion, to prove this is more than just another Liberal re-election slogan.
Stop the word games; its clear what consumers are asking for. Over to Tarion and the Ministry of Consumer Services to provide this: a verbatim transcript, without further “ado about nothing”.
2 responses to “Response from the Minister, via his media office:”
I was present at Tarion’s APM and asked questions.
Tarion’s summary (http://www.tarion.com/About-Tarion/Documents/Annual%20Public%20Meetings/Meeting%20minutes%202014%20FINAL.pdf)
doesn’t begin to capture the ISSUES, ANGER, TEARS and FRUSTRATION expressed by many homeowners which a more verbatim minutes record of the Questions and Answers would.
Details of multiple cases of Tarion’s failures to protect homeowners were completely excluded.
The public must have access to “public” information!
Make Tarion Accountable
The meeting in question was a public meeting held by the Tarion Warranty Corporation on April 30, 2014, attended by approximately 200 people. The public deserves transparency and accountability from Tarion, which holds a mandatory monopoly in Ontario.
Up until 2013, Tarion published minutes of its Annual Public Meetings on its web-site. Last year, for some reason, Tarion switched to a “summary” format. Several consumers who attended that April 30, 2014 meeting have advised that their question(s) have been omitted and/or modified unreasonably in Tarion’s summary version. I attended this meeting myself, and it is my opinion that the summary is not reasonably accurate or complete in relation to what was said in that meeting.
Why has Tarion not simply published the minutes? Where is the accountability and transparency from Tarion? Is Tarion following its own Code of Conduct (that is published on its web-site) in relation to the summary version?
Given that Tarion appears to be refusing to publish the April 30, 2014 meeting minutes, CPBH has asked the new Minister of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (David Orazietti) to publish them, which would be in keeping with the responsibilities posted on that Ministry’s web-site. We are hopeful that Minister Orazietti will have these meeting minutes promptly posted on his Ministry’s site.
Karen Somerville, President
Canadians for Properly Built Homes (CPBH)