Open Up the Whole Condo Act

May 10, 2012

Jim McDonell, MPP, PC Critic for Consumer Services was pleased to speak in the Assembly to Rosario Marchese’s Bill 72, a Private Member’s Bill that would  revise many aspects of condominium ownership.

McDonell commented: “The last major revision to the Condominium Act occurred in 1998. The industry has changed dramatically and there are issues that need to be addressed. The Standing Committee on General Government, of which Mr Marchese is a member, must undertake a full review of the Condominium Act, and Bill 72 can provide several ideas for amendments. We support Mr Marchese’s campaign to draw attention to the need to re-open the Condominium Act, despite our concerns regarding some of the changes Bill 72 proposes”.

“The industry is so complex, and the stakes are so high, that intense and exhaustive consultation must take place to give Ontario a Condominium Act suitable for the 21st century. If the review of the Aggregate Resources Act is any indication, the Government will not consult stakeholders in any meaningful way.
People’s lifetime savings and largest investments are at stake – whatever we as legislators do to the Condominium Act, it must be done after a thorough  consultation with all stakeholders.”

The critic expressed the following concerns:

  • Bill 72 makes solar and other renewable energy installations exempt from notices to condominium owners, allowing reserve fund spending without consultation or immediate need;
  • The real cost of an eventual Review Board. “The money has to come from somewhere, and all condominium owners will pay one way or the other” ;
  • Lengthening TARION warranties to five years does not address the presence in the market of shoddy contractors who won’t stand by their work. “Work in Ontario should be done such that Ontarians wouldn’t ever need TARION”;
  • Extending TARION warranties to condominium conversions is questionable. “The buildings can be decades old. We’re asking TARION to issue a five-year warranty on a used product”.
  • Licensing of property managers is a step in the right direction but will not provide a guarantee of honesty, condominium boards will still need to be watchful. “The issue is transparency and accountability. We support licensing, but it is no silver bullet”.