Throwback Thursday: Home Ownership Matters

Home Ownership Matters to people, to communities and to Ontario

It has been almost five years since OREA launched its very successful “Home Ownership Matters” campaign. The purpose of the campaign was to promote greater support for affordable home ownership to candidates, political parties and key decision makers.

Thanks to OREA’s public relations and adverting efforts, our message was picked up by major news outlets and more importantly, by key decision makers. Thanks to the “Home Ownership Matters” campaign, all major Ontario political parties included home ownership and housing friendly policies in their election platforms.

The message of affordable housing continues to resonate today and OREA continues to communicate this important message to government.

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Throwback Thursday: Home Ownership Matters

OREA’s 2016 Government Relations Committee

OREA’s GR team would like to welcome this year’s Government Relations Committee.

Valerie Miles (Chair)
Roger Bouma
Glenda Brindle
Kevin Crigger
Henry David
Stacey Evoy
Amie Ferris
Janice Myers
Heidi Noel
Von Palmer
Robert Pfaff
Debbie Vernon
Sean Morrison
Anna Vozza

The committee helps identify legislative and regulatory issues that affect Ontario REALTORS® and the real estate industry. As experienced real estate professionals, the GRC is a valuable resource for policy makers since they can speak to the implications of proposed legislation.

The committee also plays an important role in building strong relationships with MPPs and public servants. In this role, they regularly attend meetings, MPP events and make presentations before legislative committees.

OREA’s GR team looks forward to working with the new committee.

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OREA’s 2016 Government Relations Committee

International Women’s Day

 

On March 8th the world celebrated International Women’s Day. In the 98 years since women were granted the ability to vote by the Canadian government, women have made significant contributions to Canadian public and private life.

Take for instance, in Ontario’s political realm, thirty-seven out of 107 Members of Provincial Parliament are female, including the premier, the leader of the third party and 7 ministers. This is the highest number of female MPPs in Ontario’s history and the first time the province has elected as woman as premier.

Late last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made history by appointing Canada’s first gender-balanced cabinet. Fifteen out of 31 members of his cabinet are women, many of whom are responsible for prominent portfolios.

Within our own industry, women now make up half of all real estate professionals. This is a huge jump from the early 1950s, when barely 5% of REALTORS® were female. This year, OREA has 6 female leaders on our board of directors.

 

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International Women’s Day

Ontario Launches Airbnb Pilot Project

The province is collaborating with Airbnb to raise awareness about homeowners’ and consumers’ rights when booking or offering accommodations through Airbnb. Airbnb is an online platform that allows people to list or book private accommodations.

The pilot project will create a webpage, with Ontario specific content, that will give users more information about reporting rental income, consumer protection rights under contracts, accessibility requirements and regulatory and safety obligations.

This pilot project is part of a larger consumer protection initiative by the government to harness the benefits of the sharing economy while protecting Ontarians. The government has also established a Sharing Economy Advisory Board to help Ontario seize opportunities in the rapidly expanding sharing economy.

Currently, there are more than 11,000 Airbnb hosts in Ontario. The average host makes approximately $280 a month on this online platform. Last year, more than 375,000 visitors used Airbnb to book accommodations in Ontario.

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Ontario Launches Airbnb Pilot Project

Private Members Bill Introduced on Home Inspector Licensing

On Monday, Trinity-Spadina MPP Han Dong ‎introduced a Private Member’s Bill that, if passed, would establish a home inspector licensing system in Ontario. Bill 165, the Licensed Home Inspectors Act, 2016, is based off of recommendations that came from the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services’ Home Inspector Qualifications Panel. OREA has been an active participant on the Ministry’s panel and we were supportive of the recommendations that came out of the consultations.

It is important to note that Private Member’s Bills are not a government bill and rarely become law. OREA has learned that the province still plans on bringing forward government sponsored legislation on the same issue.

In short, MPP Dong’s bill would allow the Ontario government to establish a delegated administrative authority that would be responsible for establishing education requirements and the licensing of home inspectors in Ontario.

The bill will have 2nd Reading debate on March 3rd, 2016. If the bill passes 2nd Reading, it would then need to go to Committee and pass 3rd Reading before becoming law.

OREA’s government relations team will continue to monitor Bill 165 as it moves through the legislative process.

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Private Members Bill Introduced on Home Inspector Licensing

Byelection in Whitby-Oshawa called for February 11

Vote

Voters in Whitby-Oshawa will go to the polls on February 11, 2016 after the writ was issues this past Wednesday. Previously, the riding was held by MPP Christine Elliott.

The parties are fighting hard for this traditional Tory riding with Lorne Coe running for the PCs, Elizabeth Roy for the Liberals, and Niki Lundquist for the NDP.

Advanced polls will open on January 30, 2016 and close on February 5, 2016. For more voting information please visit the Elections Ontario website.

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Byelection in Whitby-Oshawa called for February 11

MPP Tables Motion Against the Municipal Land Transfer Tax

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MPP Tables Motion Against the Municipal Land Transfer Tax

Ontario Government One Step Closer to Doubling of Land Transfer Taxes

The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has indicated that they are going to make buying a home even harder by giving every municipality province-wide the power to charge a Municipal Land Transfer Tax (MLTT), a change that will double the land transfer taxes consumers have to pay on their next home. The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) encourages all Ontarians to visit www.donttaxmydream.ca to learn more about the negative impact of the MLTT and stop this tax from spreading province-wide.

“Ontario home buyers are already charged a provincial land transfer tax, so by adding a municipal tax, they’re essentially doubling the tax burden on Ontario families,” said Patricia Verge, president of OREA. “If the Ontario Liberals follow through with this plan, home buyers will be forced to pay $10,000 in total land transfer taxes on the average priced home in Ontario, starting as early as next year.”

Broken election commitment doubles tax on home buyers

The provincial government is currently undertaking a public consultation on changes to theMunicipal Act. Despite the fact that the period for public comment is still open until October 31, 2015, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has indicated that they will move ahead with granting municipalities across the province the ability to impose a municipal land transfer tax, disregarding views expressed by Ontarians during this important public process.

Verge said that, “The Ontario Liberals wrote to us in May 2014, during the election, stating that ‘they had no plans to extend these powers to municipalities’. On behalf of home buyers, we want them to remain good on this election promise and that means Ontarians need to send a strong message that the government must rethink its plan to double the land transfer tax burden on home buyers.”

In 2008, the City of Toronto put an MLTT in place after the Ontario government extended the powers to do so two years prior. The result has been significant negative impacts on jobs and the economy. Over five years, it is estimated that 38,227 housing transactions did not occur in Toronto because of the MLTT. With every home transaction generating $55,000 in consumer spending on things like renovations, furniture, appliances, and fees to professionals, the MLTT has cost the City of Toronto $2.3 billion in lost economic activity and 15,000 jobs. This type of effect would be multiplied across Ontario if the government moves ahead with its plans.

New data from Ipsos Reid show Ontarians do not support new tax

A new Ipsos Reid poll shows that the overwhelming majority of Ontarians (89 per cent) outside of Toronto oppose a new MLTT charged on home purchases in their area. Respondents agreed that if a new land transfer tax were put in place, it would limit their ability to afford a home (77 per cent) and they would likely have to delay a purchase (75 per cent). Ontarians agreed (77 per cent) that the government should do all it can to help families own their own home.

Link: 

Ontario Government One Step Closer to Doubling of Land Transfer Taxes

What the federal election means for small business and the housing market

Next Monday, Canadians will elect their new federal government.

Here is a brief overview of what the federal parties are saving about small business and the real estate market. For more information on the federal election please visit CREA’s REALTOR® Action Network.

Conservative Party of Canada

If elected, the Conservatives would:

Reduce red tape by launching national red-tape consultations on small business issues. The Conservatives aim to reduce the red tape burden by 20%. One of these red tape reductions would include simplifying the calculation of home office expenses to save Canadians time and money when filing their taxes.
Implement a tax lock law that would prohibit increases to the federal income tax rates and sales tax rates, and new, discretionary payroll taxes.
Lower the small business tax rate from 11 percent to 9 percent over four years and cutt payroll taxes on small businesses by 21 percent.
Collect data on foreign buyer activity in Canada and if necessary take action to curb foreign speculation in Canada’s real estate market.
Increase the Home Buyers’ Plan withdrawal limit from $25,000 to $35,000.

New Democratic Party of Canada

reduce the small business tax rate from 11 percent to 9 percent.

Liberal Party of Canada

Cut the middle class income bracket by 7% and introduce a new tax bracket of 33% for incomes over $200,000.
Repeal income splitting and other tax breaks and benefits for wealthy Canadians.
Collect data on housing to determine whether speculation is driving up the cost of housing and identify policy tools that could keep homeownership within reach for more Canadians. The Liberals would also restore the mandatory long-form census to ensure data-driven decision making.
Allow Canadians impacted by sudden and significant life changes to access the Home Buyer’s Plan and use money from their RRSP to buy a house without tax penalty.

To ensure you’re registered to vote or confirm your electoral district please visit Elections Canada.

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What the federal election means for small business and the housing market

Provincial Tories Keep Seat in Simcoe North

Ontario PC leader, Patrick Brown, successfully retained his party’s seat in Simcoe North.

This is an important win for the PCs, as they can hit the ground running on September 14 when the house resumes. Mr. Brown won his party’s leadership this past spring but until now did not hold a provincial seat.

Before winning the leadership, Mr. Brown was a federal MP and city councillor for Barrie.

OREA congratulates the legislature’s newest MPP and looks forward to working with him and his team.

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Provincial Tories Keep Seat in Simcoe North