Our compliments to Premier Wynne and MPP Han Dong for tabling Bill 165 to license Ontario’s Home Inspectors.
Although this project started over three years ago through the former Ministry of Consumer Services and then passed to the current Ministry of Government & Consumer Services, we find it very encouraging that the Bill was tabled by Han Dong, the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Training, Colleges & Universities. We view this as a positive move as just few months ago, when meeting with senior Training, Colleges & Universities staff, they knew nothing about the project.
It’s our hope that Ontarians can take this as a sign that, unlike Alberta & BC where the educational requirements for licensing can be achieved in less than one day, we can look forward to legitimate post-secondary education requirements similar to requirements for Electricians, Plumbers and Engineers etc.
However, the education of Home Inspectors is important, but must ultimately remain a second priority in the government’s mandate to provide honest and meaningful “Consumer Protection” regarding home inspections. Although Bill 165 makes reference to changes in other Acts, there is no comment about changes to the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act that govern the real estate industry.
Regardless of education and licensing improvements, there will be minimal effect regarding better Consumer Protection as long as Realtors are allowed to remain in control of the day to day home inspection industry, as per the current practice.
Consumers For Responsible Home Inspections continues to urge the public to speak up and be heard by their politicians. The professional committee mentioned by Han Dong does not adequately represent consumers. Said committee is dominated by Realtors, Lawyers, Home Inspectors and Insurance Companies. These parties have vested interests that benefit from the lowest possible licensing criteria.
As an example of the bias of the professional committee, the following are two excerpts from said report:
“There should be no mandatory education requirement to become a home inspector”
“Consumers often rely on and trust their real estate agents and should a have the right to allow their agents to recommend and even to arrange home inspections”.
In order for the Ontario Government to bring meaningful change to the Home Inspection industry it’s our position that the following should be the first priority and a mandatory statement in any Licensing:
“The Pre-Purchase Home Inspection shall be the consumers opportunity for independent advice free from influence or interference by any party or parties that may gain from the purchase / sale / rental transaction.”
Respectfully Submitted / Bruce McClure RHI, ACI
CEO / Consumers For Responsible Home Inspections