As many of our readers may know, Ontario recently initiated a review of Tarion Warranty Corporation. Tarion is the non-profit corporation created under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act to oversee warranties and other matters related to new home construction and sales in Ontario.
Detail about the province’s review of Tarion can be found at the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services website here. Below is an extract from their site:
“We have initiated an independent review of the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act and the Tarion Warranty Corporation.
The Honourable J. Douglas Cunningham, QC has been appointed as a special advisor to review protections for owners of new homes and identify opportunities to improve consumer protection.
His final report will provide recommendations on how to improve consumer protection, accountability, transparency and board governance to help protect consumers buying new homes in Ontario.”
I offered written comments to Justice Cunningham, and was honoured when he invited me to participate as a member of a “focus group” to provide feedback about Tarion that might assist in the review process.
Members of the focus group were asked a number of questions about Tarion, including:
- What is your understanding of Tarion’s role and purpose? Do you have any suggestions on what role Tarion should have?
- What do you see as the strengths of the Ontario New Home Warranty Plan Act (ONHWPA)? What do you see as weaknesses or deficiencies?
- What warranty coverage and consumer protections do you believe should be provided to new home owners? What are the current gaps in coverage, and how can these gaps be improved?
- What are some common concerns for new home owners? What do you think gives rise to these concerns? Who should be responsible for responding to these concerns?
- What concerns are best addressed by organizations other than Tarion?
- What does Tarion currently do well? What improvements would you recommend (including consumer protection, accountability, board governance and/or warranty coverage itself)?
I was very pleased to provide written responses, and I look forward to eventually seeing Justice Cunningham’s report once he has completed his review.