OREA’s 2014 Political Affairs Conference (PAC) is a little over a week away! OREA’s government relations team is excited to welcome REALTOR® delegates from across Ontario to the Park Hyatt Hotel in downtown Toronto, November 23-25, 2014. The conference is a great opportunity for delegates to enhance their knowledge of provincial politics, strengthen their relationships with local MPPs, and exchange ideas on the provincial issues that affect the real estate profession.
Last year, PAC delegates met with over 70 Ontario MPPs from all political parties to discuss key REALTOR® issues. This year, our government relations committee has selected electronic signatures, stopping the spread of a municipal land transfer tax, and allowing Ontario real estate salespeople to form personal real estate corporations as our three lobby issues.
In the 2013 Ontario Budget, the government included an amendment to the Electronic Commerce Act, 2000 to remove the exclusion of agreements of purchase and sale. Along with this change, the government included a section stating that the amendment would only come into force upon proclamation. To date, the government has yet to proclaim this amendment. OREA is asking the government to bring this change into force.
Municipal Land Transfer Tax
Ontario municipalities are asking Queen’s Park for additional revenue tools, similar to those granted to the City of Toronto under the City of Toronto Act, 2006. This could give municipalities the authority to charge an MLTT. This tax make home ownership more difficult by adding thousands of dollars to closing costs. For this reason, Ontario REALTORS® oppose the spread of an MLTT to other regions of Ontario.
Personal Real Estate Corporations
Ontario real estate salespeople are prevented by REBBA from operating their businesses through a personal corporation. Most other regulated professions in Ontario enjoy this right, and many provinces across Canada have moved to allow for real estate salespeople to incorporate. Ontario is lagging behind. Most importantly, research has demonstrated that PRECs will have a modest but positive effect on Ontario’s economy and job creation. OREA is urging the provincial government to treat REALTORS® fairly and permit PRECs.