The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) won a bronze award from the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) for its advocacy campaign to stop the spread of the municipal land transfer tax (MLTT) beyond Toronto.
The campaign, “Say No to Another Home Owner Tax: Don’t Tax My Dream”, placed third in the Canadian Government Relations Campaign of the Year category at the CPRS and Global Alliance (GA) Awards Gala on Tuesday, May 31st. This category awards campaigns or programs which effectively used public affairs to change public opinion and influence government policy. The event, which celebrates the best of Canadian and International communications, was part of the World Public Relations Forum, held in Toronto this year at the Westin Harbour Castle.
“It is an honour for OREA to win this award and be recognized in front of our international colleagues,” says Ray Ferris, President of OREA. “This award winning campaign highlights the strength of the REALTOR® voice at Queen’s Park in stopping the spread of the MLTT.”
The goal of the campaign was to ensure the provincial government did not extend the MLTT to municipalities outside of the City of Toronto, and to raise awareness about the implications of another tax. The provincial government had indicated that it would consider giving all Ontario municipalities the authority to levy the tax, which adds thousands of dollars to the cost of home buying.
The campaign sparked what was perhaps the biggest government relations success in OREA’s history. The campaign featured a consumer website and video, a news media blitz, radio ads, social media, grassroots advocacy and a call to action. All of these efforts dramatically increased awareness of the MLTT in the public eye.
All of the efforts culminated in December 2015, when the provincial government announced that it would not expand the MLTT beyond Toronto, which is great news for Ontario home buyers. Staff at OREA worked with Counsel Public Affairs Inc. and Ryan Edwards Communications on the campaign.
This is the second award won by OREA for this campaign. On May 4th, OREA won an ACE award from the Toronto chapter of the Canadian Public Relations Society.