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September 28, 2011


Brampton Real Estate Board

10-35 Van Kirk Drive

Brampton, ON L7A 1A5


Dear Members of the Brampton Real Estate Board,


Thank you for your survey about the issues facing home owners in Ontario and for the

opportunity to tell you about the ways changebook will support and protect home ownership.


I have long championed the Canadian value of home ownership. As Premier, I will continue to make it a priority.


I believe a home is a place of comfort and security, not a commodity to be taxed. It’s a place to raise our children, and it is also the single biggest investment most of us will make in our lifetime.


As families build equity in their homes, that investment triggers other economic activity through renovations, additions, or even the purchase of a new home. Sadly, the dream of home ownership is slipping away from many young families.


On the same day Dalton McGuinty put the 8% HST tax grab on the price of new homes, home renovations, real estate commissions, moving costs, home inspections, appraisals, and a host of other services, he also had the audacity to sneak in thousands of eco taxes on the items we use around the house – on everything from batteries to fire extinguishers.

Dalton McGuinty has gotten so used to new taxes, he no longer sees how hard it is on people. I was recently greeted at a community BBQ by a senior named Jim. Jim told me that he and his wife are on the brink of having to put their family home of 37 years up for sale, because they can no longer afford to keep up with the rising costs of living – especially skyrocketing hydro bills.


In addition to the HST on hydro and home heating, Dalton McGuinty’s smart meter tax machines have made the air conditioning more expensive, a load of laundry more expensive, and turning on the TV more expensive. Jim told me he is fed up with all of these taxes, and I don’t blame him.


I believe Ontario seniors and families deserve better.


To make life more affordable for home owners, we’re going to scrap those sneaky eco taxes and leave more money in the household budget.


When it comes to the household essentials, we’re going to provide relief and remove the HST from home hydro and heating bills. We’ll also take the Debt Retirement Charge off of residential hydro bills. Taken together, our home energy relief measures will make the costs of homeownership more affordable and give Ontario families $275 in yearly relief from rising energy bills.


And to leave more money for the purchase of a new house, condo, or home renovation, we will lower the overall tax burden on middle-class families by reducing income taxes by 5% on the first $75,000 in taxable income, saving a middle-class taxpayer $258 each year. For couples, we will change the tax system to allow them to share up to $50,000 of their income for tax purposes, which could save a family up to $1,400 per year in income taxes.


Buying a home is the biggest investment most families will ever make. And for all the sacrificing and saving that families do to afford a home, I believe they deserve a government that will take decisive action to protect them when they go to purchase a home. That is why we will establish a registry to allow realtors and future homeowners to know whether or not a property was ever used as a grow op or meth lab.


These are just some of the ways we’re proposing to make home ownership more affordable. To read more about the change we’re proposing for Ontario families, I encourage you to visit www.changebook.ca




Tim Hudak

Ontario PC Leader


Two of RECO’s most popular publications have been redesigned to feature a variety of visual examples and provide clarity on the advertising issues that real estate professionals frequently ask about.

The new Advertising Guidelines are broken down into easy-to-follow segments that include clear illustrations of correct and incorrect advertising. The segments explain how to identify a registrant in various advertising formats, how to advertise promises, statements, indications of honours or awards, and how to avoid confusing terms.

The Advertising Checklist provides registrants with a basic framework to create advertising that meets the minimum requirements and avoids prohibited content.

Both documents are essential tools to help registrants understand and design advertisements that are compliant with REBBA 2002 and the Code of Ethics.

The Advertising Guidelines and Advertising Checklist can be found at www.reco.on.ca in the Industry Professional section, under the Registration menu.

For more information about the Advertising Guidelines please refer to the Q&A document posted on RECO’s website or on MyWeb at https://myweb.reco.on.ca.



Televised Election Debates

Rogers to Televise Election Debates – Voters will have several opportunities to watch candidates in the upcoming provincial election debate the issues on Rogers Cable 10 

The taped debates will be broadcast several times leading up to the electoral contest on Oct. 6 starting with Brampton West this afternoon (Sept. 24) at 4 p.m.
Brampton West will be followed by Brampton-Springdale at 5 p.m., Bramalea-Gore-Malton at 10 p.m. and Mississauga-Brampton South at 11 p.m.
Here’s a list of debate air times:  

Brampton-Springdale (Airs in Brampton only)
Sat, Sep 24, 2011 at 17:00:00
Sun, Sep 25, 2011 at 22:00:00
Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 09:00:00
Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 16:00:00
Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 23:00:00
Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 02:00:00
Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 17:00:00
Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 09:00:00
Sat, Oct 1, 2011 at 19:00:00
Sun, Oct 2, 2011 at 20:00:00

Brampton West (Airs in Brampton only)
Sat, Sep 24, 2011 at 16:00:00
Sun, Sep 25, 2011 at 21:00:00
Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 09:00:00
Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 04:00:00
Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 16:00:00
Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 23:00:00
Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 09:00:00
Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 18:00:00
Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 16:00:00
Sat, Oct 1, 2011 at 20:00:00
Sun, Oct 2, 2011 at 21:00:00

Bramalea-Gore-Malton (Airs in Brampton and Mississauga)
Sat, Sep 24, 2011 at 22:00:00
Sun, Sep 25, 2011 at 20:00:00
Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 17:00:00
Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 03:00:00
Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 10:00:00
Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 17:00:00
Sat, Oct 1, 2011 at 17:00:00
Sun, Oct 2, 2011 at 22:00:00

Mississauga-Brampton South (Airs in Brampton and Mississauga)
Sat, Sep 24, 2011 at 23:00:00
Sun, Sep 25, 2011 at 19:00:00
Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 17:00:00
Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 04:00:00
Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 10:00:00
Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 18:00:00
Sat, Oct 1, 2011 at 16:00:00
Sun, Oct 2, 2011 at 23:00:00
Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 10:00:00


Environmental law meets real estate law

AdviceSep 27, 2011

By Shari Elliott

There is no excuse today for real estate agents to not be aware that the environmental status of properties needs to be addressed in the purchase agreement. By becoming aware of the issues, sales reps can avoid unexpected environmental issues.

Environmental liability is applied to a wide range of actors, not just the polluter. There are methods to investigate and if required remediate the contamination. The level of due diligence required varies with the nature and use of the property, both past and future.

In Ontario, the primary tool is an environmental site assessment (ESA) for this investigation. This starts with what is referred to as a Phase I – mainly a paper search to determine actual and potential site contamination both on and off-site. A Phase I usually takes two to three weeks and costs approximately $2,000 to $3,500.

A Phase II is considered an intrusive investigation to assess potential or known impacts to the soil and groundwater. Usually boreholes and monitoring wells are installed. Samples are taken and analysed at a laboratory. The cost varies with each project. There are many activities that are inherently high risk to cause contamination. A short list would include chemical plants, battery manufacturing, recycling facilities, asphalt manufacturing, electroplating, metal fabrication, circuit board manufacturing, steel works, leather tanneries, ship building, repair yards, textile mills, drycleaners, scrap yards, service stations and properties with underground storage tanks.

ESAs are important to allow for the risk/cost to be allocated properly. If a vendor has an ESA completed prior to offering the property for sale, the vendor can dictate the terms in the agreement, which could include restrictions on the future use of the property to limit liability. The vendor might also choose to remediate the property prior to the sale to maximize the sale price and increase interest.

Professionals should be involved early. Full disclosure and indemnities are key to limiting liability. A record of site condition (RSC), which is available under the Environmental Protection Act (again, in Ontario) can provide immunity to the current and future owners if required in the purchase agreement. It is important to be aware that an RSC is required under the Environmental Protection Act when the use is changing to a more sensitive use – for example, industrial to residential.

Real estate agents need to be aware that environmental contamination is best addressed in the purchase agreement. Former owners may still be liable even when selling on an “as is” basis. Purchasers may be liable for existing contamination, ongoing mitigation or off-site discharges. Agreements that properly allocate the risk and cost are complicated. Representations and warranties need to be clearly drafted. Covenants and conditions to closing are likely required. Indemnities are key but only as good as the party providing the indemnity, which is why holdbacks, securities and environmental insurance might be required.

To avoid the tricks and traps associated with contaminated properties, environmental issues should be addressed early. Knowledge of the risk/issues can lead to solutions.

Shari Elliott is a lawyer practicing environmental and real estate law in Barrie, Ont. at Elliott & Elliott. For more information on contaminated properties contact her at Shari@elliottlawyers.com.

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