It has only been a week since the Ontario Legislature has been back in session, but a fall election seems to be the phrase on everybody’s lips this week. With the legislature in gridlock, there has been much speculation about whether Premier Kathleen Wynne will pull the plug on her minority government. Just yesterday, a bill banning the use of tanning beds by youth became a political hot potato. Although all three parties agree on the principle of the bill, they are squabbling over parliamentary procedure. The Liberals would like to fast track the bill, while the opposition feel they need more time to make amendments. Will this be the bill that pushes the government to call an election?
To make matters more interesting, two of Ontario’s political parties have experienced some significant changes within their ranks over the past couple of week. Last week, the Liberals overhauled their campaign team replacing much of former Premier McGuinty’s senior campaign staff. On the other side of the house, the Tories have a new finance critic, Vic Fedeli. As for the NDP, although they seem to be gaining strength, it remains unclear if their polling numbers are strong enough to form government or official opposition.
REALTORS® continue to watch this session with keen interest. Earlier this week Bill 55, Stronger Protections for Consumers Act, 2013 passed second reading and was referred to the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly. The bill makes amendments to the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA), 2002 addressing the issues of flexible remuneration and phantom offers. OREA is working with the government to ensure that the bill strikes a balance between industry best practices and consumer protection.