Looking for reason to vote in the next Provincial election? Here’s one.
A GROUP OF OVER 30 CONCERNED new home buyers spent most of their day yesterday at Queen’s Park at the Ontario Legislature in Toronto. A daunting and intimidating venue for most of us. Consumers are not paid like lobbyists, MPP’s, or public servants, but felt it was time to make their views heard loud and clear (again), and show support for a new bill to reform Tarion Warranty Corporation.
The bill was introduced at a press conference held by MPP Jagmeet Singh, accompanied by a panel of 2 consumers, as well as the President of volunteer consumer organizations “Canadians for Properly Built Homes (CPBH), president Karen Somerville, and Jotvinder Sodhi, President of HOWA, Homeowners Welfare Association.
MPP Singh kindly agreed to interviews with consumers for their social media sites such as this one, he offered the use of his office to us, since many had traveled long distances at their own expense to be there, and provided us with a special guest pass to sit in the prestigious Legislative Gallery as he tabled his new bill. Many thanks to MPP Singh and his knowledgeable staff member Melissa for these gracious, much-appreciated gestures to consumers.
Homeowners spent most of the day at Queen’s Park in meetings with their own MPP’s, venting their frustrations at not being protected by the very government monopoly (“DAA”) set up to protect them. Tarion seems to be not doing its job for consumers. This is not a new problem to MPP’s, but one which has been cleverly brushed aside by the huge PR machinery of Tarion itself and its Tarion-friendly building lobbies.
The consumer message yesterday, joining MPP Singh’s message to the Legislature was:
Tarion is urgently in need of INDEPENDENT OVERSIGHT, TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY to properly serve new home buyers. This corporation was set up to protect new home buyers, not new home builders. Consumers should not have to bear the cost of the builder’s wrong-doing, no matter many high-powered lawyers these builders and Tarion can pay for.
Private Members bills such as this one rarely get passed, however, especially now that the Liberals, with strong ties to the building industry, have a majority control over the Legislature. True, says MPP Singh, but “a Private Members bill is a way to push government“, to put the spotlight on problems, and use “moral suasion”.
We were happy to join in the “push” of government yesterday, witnessing first hand how our provincial democracy works. Thanks to MPP Singh for initiating this new bill, and to all our MPP’s who will support it, as well as to consumer volunteer organizations CPBH and HOWA, and all the brave consumers who shared their stories and dedicated their time, money, and effort yesterday to advocating – not for access to a courtroom – but access to fairness and justice.
UP-COMING BLOG POST: “Consumers Reform Tarion“, my interview with MPP Singh – What’s ailing Tarion?