On March 21st, Bill 28, the Act to amend the Electronic Commerce Act, went through second reading debate in the Ontario Legislature. The bill passed on a voice vote, which demonstrates overwhelming support across all three parties. If passed, the legislation will remove the exemption of electronic agreements of purchase and sale from the act, which will result in greater legal protection for them.
The sponsor of the bill, Progressive Conservative MPP Todd Smith, pointed out that “this bill is really a testament to a lot of good political work—some good political footwork that has been happening on the ground here.” Mr. Smith, who is also a PC critic for red tape and small business, remembered how the idea to introduce the legislation was sparked by two local REALTORS® who came to his local Belleville office to talk about real estate issues and told him that the way transactions are handled in Ontario lags behind the available technology.
New Democrat MPP from Parkdale-High Park Cheri DiNovo, who also spoke in support of the bill, pointed out that this kind of exemption is a “no-brainer” and should have been removed long time ago. Research and Innovation Minister Reza Moridi expressed his and government support, emphasizing the importance of keeping the legislation in step with technological innovation.
MPPs gave a warm greeting to a number of Toronto area REALTORS® who sat in the guest gallery throughout the debate.
The bill, introduced just two weeks ago, was referred by Mr. Smith to the Committee on General Government, where it will go through a more detailed analysis and then come back to the House for third reading.