There’s been a change to the New Home Buyer Protection Act, and it has some Canadians raging against the Conservative government. It all started months ago, when changes were made to the Act to help better protect new homeowners, and to ensure that proper warranties were set in place for not just a year, but for a reasonable amount of time for different components of a home.
While these changes were originally set to be put into place by this fall, now the government is saying that it won’t be until February 2014. That would typically be enough for critics to rail against the government, but many are also saying that the Tories tried to cover up the changes, angering them even further.
One of the loudest critics of all has been Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman, who said that the government didn’t only delay the implementation date of these changes, but also that they’ve tried to mislead the public in the delay by simply not making any mention of it at all. One of the ways they’ve done that, she says, is by omitting the original date from any of the news press releases they’ve put out so far regarding the Act.
“There’s a fair number of new housing starts in the province every year,” she says. “We’re looking at about 18,000 people that it would have been reasonable for them to expect that they would have that coverage program available to them – and they’re not.”
But Municipal Affairs spokesman, Cam Traynor, says that that’s simply not the case. He says that the government has been very open about the new delayed date by placing it on their website, telling home builders about it – who would then, you’d hope, pass it onto their clients and homeowners – and by speaking about it repeatedly in interviews any time the subject was broached.
He also says that, to ensure that the program works effectively and for the purpose it was intended for, the delay was absolutely necessary.
“It’s comprehensive legislation,” he says. “It’s new to the province and it really just has to do with making sure that the program is a success, if the people who are delivering it have all their ducks in a row.”
He also argues that because the new program is set to go into effect just before spring, it won’t effect that many move-in dates, as spring is the busiest season and the revamped program will already be in effect by then.
It’s also important to note that these changes, and this program, is only taking effect in Alberta, as any new home warranty is dictated by each individual province.
What do you think about the new changes to the Act? And what do you think about how it was handled by the Tory government in Alberta?