Premier Wynne, you never replied to my “Open Letter to the Premier “ (August 5th, 2014) regarding urgent consumer protection issues with Tarion Warranty Corporation. Your continued silence is hard to understand.
You promise to be transparent and accountable. You promise to listen to the people of Ontario. You promise to end wasteful spending.
So, why do you refuse to do anything about Tarion, a delegated administrative authority of your government, that is not doing its job properly?
I have a dream…that new home buyers will not be turned away when trying to fix construction defects. Tarion’s mandate is to protect consumers, not to protect builders and the building industry. Tarion seems to have drifted into “mission creep”, seeming to help builders it is supposed to regulate and fighting the consumers it is supposed to help.
I have a dream… that your newly-announced Consumer Bill of Rights will make a difference to new home buyers. The purchaser of a baby stroller in Ontario seems to have more rights than a new home buyer under the current system.
The Tarion warranty is mandatory, but fails many consumers. The appeals system is broken. See the CPBH analysis: 82% failure of homeowners at Tarion appeals: http://www.canadiansforproperlybuilthomes.com/html/whatsnew/2014/sept/2013LATanalysis.pdf)
I have a dream… that buyers will not have to go to court to get defects resolved. The consumer is not the builder nor the warranty authority, so should not have to pay for others’ wrong-doing.
Tarion uses a tribunal system which often protects the warranty fund from claims and lets bad builders off the hook. If there is no deterrent to shoddy practices, they will not end. There are many troubling conflicts of interest here, which you and your consumer ministers have brushed aside.
I have a dream… that your promises are more than sound bites. If you really care about transparency and accountability, I hope Tarion will be subject to independent scrutiny by the Auditor General of Ontario, or the Ombudsman of Ontario. I hope executive compensation at Tarion will no longer be a secret.
You have the chance to use the new Consumer Bill of Rights to bring meaningful reforms to a monopoly that has not seen significant reforms in 37 years. If you are indeed the Premier of the people and you are listening to Ontarians, your Consumer Bill of Rights would not ignore new home buyers.
Why do you remain silent? We have brought Tarion’s failings to your attention many, many times.
I also have a dream, Premier Wynne, that you will support new laws to bring independent oversight of Tarion to protect the most vulnerable party in a new home purchase: the consumer.