Electronic Signatures Update

With the Labour Day long weekend behind us, many Ontarians are going back to routine; kids are going back to school, and very shortly our Members of Provincial Parliament will be back in the legislature debating our province’s key issues.

With the passage of the provincial budget last spring, electronic signatures became one step closer to becoming a reality for Ontario REALTORS®. The budget included an amendment to the Electronic Commerce Act (ECA), 2000 that will extend the legal protections of the ECA to include electronic real estate agreements of purchase and sale.

Although this is a huge gain for REALTORS ® and consumers, the change has yet to come into effect due to a section of the budget that said the amendment would come into effect upon proclamation, when the government announces that it will go into effect.

In the summer months, the Ministry of the Attorney General has continued to consult with a number of industry stakeholders regarding the amendment. Although it could receive proclamation as early as this fall, it is most likely this will not occur until sometime in 2014.

In the meantime, OREA will continue to work with the Government of Ontario to encourage proclamation of the amendment as soon as possible. We are very excited by our progress and look forward to continue advocating on behalf of Ontario REALTORS ® in this new legislative session.

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Electronic Signatures Update