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NDP Leader Andrea Horwath guarantees her party will help consumers with the “horror stories” many have experienced.

In the run-up to the Provincial election of June 12th, 2014, homeowner Jeffrey Ferland asks NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on 1010 Newstalk Radio: What will your party will do, if elected, to help new home/condo buyers to get justice with Tarion Warranty Corporation? Too many homeowners have been left without adequate protection.

Ms. Horwath responds that her party has for years heard “horror stories” from consumers who have been left on their own to deal with new home defects they thought were covered under the province’s Tarion Warranty programme. She stated her party has heard, “scores and scores and scores of complaints” over many years about new home defects which Tarion has not resolved. Yet she points out Tarion was designed to do just that – provide the basics – new homes without defects – and prevent consumers from being “ripped off” by shoddy builders. She points out this issue has been raised “time and time again in the Legislature, but the Liberals continue to ignore it.
She stated her party, the NDP, is determined to bring justice to this system for consumers.
Thank you, Andrea Horwath, and NDP colleagues, for understanding this serious issue from the homeowner’s/taxpayer’s standpoint.

Can a Delegated Administrative Authority of the government, with a government-mandated monopoly…. betoo big to care”? Why won’t the Liberal Party take a stand on this issue to finally help ordinary Ontarians, the very people they themselves keep telling us, time and time again, they care so much about?

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May 21, 2014 · 3:03 pm

MPP – member of the Ontario Legislature – speaks out about Tarion: bring back the consumer focus.

MPP Marchese has called Tarion a “black box“, lacking meaningful oversight and dominated by the building industry. He joins other MPP’s from all three parties calling for oversight of Tarion by the Ombudsman of Ontario and the Auditor General, and has brought forward legislation to do this, although this is now in limbo due to the election June 12, 2014.
See his short interview here from May 2014.

Tarion saying builders are the best ones to look after the interests of consumers is just as nonsensical as saying consumers are the best to look after the interests of the building industry. Tarion is supposed to be”protecting new home buyers”, not new home builders. That’s why it was created.
The Liberal government, under Premiers Wynne/McGuinty, has turned a deaf ear – for years – to reforms to Tarion, which have not been seriously attempted in its 37-year history. It’s time for someone to step up to the plate for consumers and fix this problem, a complex and multidimensional one. MPP Marchese understands these complex issues, and has great empathy for the human side of the issue. He’s spearheaded many efforts over the last several years to bring legislation to help new home and condo buyers get the protection they deserve, and he will continue to do so.

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May 18, 2014 · 9:07 pm

Dr. Karen Somerville, President of “Canadians for Properly Built Homes” speaking after Tarion’s Annual Public Meeting

Premier Wynne, you can run, but you can’t hide.

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May 1, 2014 · 9:31 pm

Well-respected consumer journalist Dr. Peter Silverman speaks out about Tarion

DR. PETER SILVERMAN spoke out on this video clip for social media after the Tarion Annual General Meeting. Mr. Silverman is a well-known broadcast journalist, a consumer advocate for 25 years, and has won numerous high-profile awards for service to the Province and the people of Ontario.  He hits the nail on the head in his assessment of the problems at Tarion Warranty Corporation.  


by B.Captijn

“There’s a disconnect” as Mr.Silverman points out, between what Tarion’s vast marketing machinery is telling the public, and what consumers actually experience with the new home warranty. Last night’s Annual Public Meeting seemed to leave Tarion’s board numb or dumbfounded by the intensity and sheer number of concerns voiced by consumers. Some board members I talked to seemed unaware of the serious concerns consumers have voiced with their organization.

Its true what Peter Silverman says in this short video clip taken after the meeting: this is a political problem. Karen Somerville of the consumer organization CPBH clearly states this in her message to the Premier, also posted on social media after the meeting.

But with the building industry the main contributor to Provincial political campaigns, there’s no political will to clamp down on builders’ influence or privileges at Tarion. Since neither the Ombudsman of Ontario nor the Auditor General can scrutinize Tarion’s business practices, and since the Ministry of Consumer Services seems to have become little more than a puppet of Tarion, this is a monopoly dominated by the industry it is supposed to be regulating. If it seems Tarion doesn’t really care about consumers, its because they don’t have to. There’s no independent body looking over their shoulders. Do you want to find out what Tarion’s 9 Vice Presidents and Board members earn? Sorry that’s a black box too, they are not subject to the Sunshine List either.

A monopoly without effective oversight is a scary thing.  For consumers, not builders.

Many consumers and MPPs support Rosario Marchese’s Bill 139 for Accountability and Oversight of Tarion, and PC MPP Norm Miller’s Bill 190 for the Auditor General’s oversight of Tarion. Both bills have promising support in the Legislature, but will be in limbo if Ms.Wynne calls an election in May/June 2014.

My suggestion, which has been made by many others, on several occasions:

Split up the warranty-providing function of Tarion which is meant to serve consumers, from the regulating and licensing function, which serves builders. You cannot serve two masters at the same time. Tarion is a “walking conflict of interest” in the words of a prominent MPP who has often spoken out about Tarion.  Splitting up these two conflicting functions would eliminate the conflicts which are currently causing consumers so much hardship. With all the lawyers, senior accountants, and “corporate governance experts” on Tarion’s board, are we to believe they don’t see this?


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May 1, 2014 · 8:38 pm

MPP Barrett speaking to the Legislature on April 17, 2014, re BILL 190

MPP Barrett (PC) makes a compelling case for expanding the Auditor General of Ontario’s powers to look into TARION WARRANTY CORPORATION.  In its entire 37 year history, Tarion has never been subject to an independent Audit by the Auditor General of Ontario. Perhaps a few cobwebs there?
Since the Liberal government continues to promise all Ontarians “accountability and transparency” in government, to exclude Tarion from this scrutiny is baffling.

“A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.”

by Thomas Paine, British/American writer, 1737-1809

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April 21, 2014 · 8:15 pm