Bill 139, Tarion Accountability and Oversight Act, 2013

Marchese, Rosario

Current Status: First Reading Carried

Viewing: Original (current version) pdf

Bill 139                                                       2013

An Act to amend various Acts in respect of the corporation designated under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

Ombudsman Act

   1.  The Ombudsman Act is amended by adding the following section:

Investigation of Corporation under Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act

   14.1  (1)  Anything that the Ombudsman may do under this Act in respect of a governmental organization, the Ombudsman may do in respect of the corporation designated under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act.

Interpretation

   (2)  For the purposes of an investigation under subsection (1),

  (a)  any reference in this Act to a governmental organization is deemed to be a reference to the corporation mentioned in subsection (1); and

  (b) the references in subsections 18 (1) and 25 (2) to the head of the governmental organization are deemed to be references to the Chief Executive Officer of the corporation mentioned in subsection (1).

Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act

   2.  (1)  Clause (c) of the definition of “home” in section 1 of the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act is repealed and the following substituted:

   (c)  a condominium dwelling unit, including a unit in a conversion condominium, and the common elements, or

   (2)  The definition of “regulation” in section 1 of the Act is amended by adding “except if the context requires otherwise” at the end.

   (3)  Section 1 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Associated person

   (2)  For the purposes of section 3.1 and subsection 7 (4), one person is associated with another person if the persons are related to one another in the manner specified by regulations made under section 24.

   3.  Section 2 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Same

   (2.1)  On the day this subsection comes into force, the objects of the Corporation are extended to include serving as a consumer protection agency.

   4.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Board of Corporation

   2.1  (1)  On the day that is 180 days after this section comes into force, the Corporation’s board of directors is dissolved and reconstituted in accordance with this section.

Composition

   (2)  The board of directors shall consist of 15 members appointed or elected as follows:

    1.  Eight members shall be appointed by the Minister.

    2.  Seven members shall be appointed or elected in accordance with the Corporation’s by-laws.

Chair and vice chair

   (3)  The Minister shall appoint the chair and the vice-chair of the board from among the directors.

Quorum

   (4)  A majority of the board constitutes a quorum.

Transition

   (5)  The persons who are the directors of the Corporation immediately before the day this section comes into force continue as directors of the Corporation until replaced or removed.

Remake by-laws

   (6)  The Corporation shall take all necessary steps to amend its by-laws within 179 days after this section comes into force so that the by-laws do not conflict with this section.

   5.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Publication by Registrar

   3.1  The Registrar shall publish on the Corporation’s website a directory of all builders of homes described in clause (c) of the definition of “home” in section 1 who are registered under this Act, and the directory shall include the following information:

    1.  All previous business names used by each builder and each associated builder within the preceding 10 years.

    2.  Any publicly available information with respect to the builder’s performance within the preceding 10 years.

    3.  The Corporation’s risk assessment of the builder.

    4.  Any information that the Registrar considers to be in the public interest.

    5.  Any other information specified by regulations made under section 24.

   6.  Section 4 of the Act is amended by striking out “subsection 2 (2)” at the end and substituting “section 2”.

   7.  The Act is amended by adding the following sections:

Accountability agreement

   5.1  (1)  Within 90 days after this section comes into force, the Minister and the Corporation shall enter into an accountability agreement in respect of the services to be provided by the Corporation under this Act.

Content

   (2)  The accountability agreement must include, at a minimum, commitments in respect of the content specified by regulations made under section 24.

Minister’s terms

   (3)  On giving the notice to the Corporation that the Minister considers reasonable in the circumstances, the Minister may amend or insert a term in the accountability agreement or delete a term from it if,

  (a)  the term relates to the administration of the Act; and

  (b)  the Minister considers it advisable to do so in the public interest.

If no agreement

   (4)  If the Minister and the Corporation are unable to conclude an accountability agreement through negotiations, the Minister may set the terms of the agreement which must include, at a minimum, commitments in respect of the content specified by regulations made under section 24.

Availability to the public

   (5)  The Minister and the Corporation shall make copies of the accountability agreement available to the public on a Government of Ontario website and on the Corporation’s website.

Minutes of board meetings

   5.2  The Corporation shall give a copy of the minutes of each meeting of its board of directors to the Minister within 45 days after the date of the meeting.

Auditor General

   5.3  The Auditor General may, at any time, audit any aspect of the operations of the Corporation.

   8.  Section 7 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Disclosure of business names

   (4)  For the purposes of enabling a determination to be made under clauses (1) (b) and (c), an applicant who seeks to be registered as a builder or a registrant who seeks to have a registration as a builder renewed shall provide to the Registrar in writing a list of all names under which the applicant or registrant and any associated builders have conducted business as a builder in the 10 years preceding the application for registration or renewal.

   9.  (1)  Subsection 13 (4) of the Act is amended by adding “Subject to subsection (4.1)” at the beginning.

   (2)  Section 13 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsections:

Same, condominium dwelling unit

   (4.1)  In the case of a condominium dwelling unit, a warranty under subsection (1) applies only in respect of claims made within five years after the warranty takes effect if the claim is for any of the following reasons:

    1.  The home is not constructed in a workmanlike manner.

    2.  There are defects in windows, doors and caulking and other material, such that the building envelope of the home does not prevent water penetration.

    3.  There are defects in the work in respect of material mentioned in paragraph 2.

    4.  There are defects in material and work in respect of,

            i.  electrical, plumbing or heating delivery and distribution systems, or

           ii.  exterior cladding of the home resulting in detachment, displacement or physical deterioration.

    5.  There are violations of the Ontario Building Code under which the building permit was issued affecting health and safety including, but not limited to, fire safety, insulation, air and vapour barriers, ventilation, heating and structural adequacy.

    6.  There are major structural defects.

Same

   (4.2)  In subsection (4.1),

“building envelope” means the wall and roof assemblies that contain the building space, and includes all those elements of the assemblies that contribute to the separation of the outdoor and indoor environments so that the indoor environment can be controlled within acceptable limits; (“enveloppe”)

“delivery and distribution systems” includes all wires, conduits, pipes, junctions, switches, receptacles and seals, but does not include appliances, fittings and fixtures; (“réseaux de distribution”)

“exterior cladding” means all exterior wall coverings and includes siding and above-grade masonry as required and detailed in the relevant sections of the Ontario Building Code under which the building permit was issued. (“habillage extérieur”)

   10.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Timelines

   13.1  (1)  If an owner submits a claim form for a home in accordance with the requirements for claim forms in the regulations, the builder shall have until the end of the 30th day after the date on which the Corporation receives the form to repair or resolve the claim items that are listed on the form and covered by a warranty.

Same

   (2)  If the builder does not repair or resolve all of the claim items that are listed on the form and covered by a warranty, the owner may request a conciliation by contacting the Corporation at any time from the 31st day until the end of the 60th day after the date on which the Corporation receives the form under subsection (1).

Same

   (3)  If the owner requests a conciliation under subsection (2), the builder shall have until the end of the 30th day after the date of the owner’s request to repair or resolve all of the claim items that are listed on the form and covered by a warranty.

Transition

   (4)  Claims submitted before the day this section comes into force shall be dealt with in accordance with the regulations under clause 24 (b).

   11.  Clause 15 (a) of the Act is amended by adding “or a corporation for a conversion condominium” after “a condominium corporation”.

   12.  Section 17 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Time

   (3.1)  The Corporation shall complete its efforts to effect conciliation within the prescribed time.

   13.  (1)  The portion of subsection 23 (1) of the Act before clause (a) is repealed and the following substituted:

   (1)  Subject to the approval of the Minister, the Corporation may make by-laws,

.     .     .     .     .

   (2)  Subsection 23 (1) of the Act is amended by adding the following clause:

(0.a) defining “conversion condominium” for the purposes of this Act;

   (3)  Clause 23 (1) (n) of the Act is amended by adding “subject to section 24” at the beginning.

   14.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Regulations

   24.  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations,

  (a)  specifying the minimum content to be contained in an accountability agreement required under section 5.1;

  (b)  governing transitional matters that, in the opinion of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, are necessary or desirable to facilitate the implementation of the Tarion Accountability and Oversight Act, 2013.

Commencement and Short Title

Commencement

   15.  (1)  Subject to subsection (2), this Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.

Same

   (2)  Section 5 comes into force six months after the day this Act receives Royal Assent.

Short title

   16.  The short title of this Act is the Tarion Accountability and Oversight Act, 2013.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE

Various statutes are amended in connection with Tarion Warranty Corporation, which is the corporation designated to administer the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act.

The Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act is amended to provide that the Minister responsible for that Act shall appoint the majority of Tarion’s board members. The Minister and Tarion are required to enter into an accountability agreement. Tarion’s objects are extended to include serving as a consumer protection agency.

Tarion is required to publish a directory of home builders on the Internet, and the directory must contain specified information about each builder’s performance.

The definition of “home” in the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act is amended to include units in conversion condominiums, and warranties in respect of specified matters related to condominiums are extended from one year to five years.

The Auditor General is given the authority to audit Tarion’s operations, and the Ombudsman Act is amended to permit the Ombudsman to conduct investigations in respect of Tarion.

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