When it comes to advocacy, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) has one main goal – to ensure that when Ontario families are making the biggest financial decision of their lives, the REALTOR® at their side has the highest level of professionalism, training and tools in North America.
For the past ten years, OREA has been fighting to enhance professionalism and bring forward much needed changes to the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA). In the last decade, our Members have had more than 750 meetings with Ontario’s MPPs, sent over 50,000 emails on necessary updates to REBBA, and supported four different private Members’ bills on Tax Fairness for REALTORS®.
In 2017, OREA formed the REBBA Review Taskforce in order to lead the largest direct-to-Member consultation to modernize REBBA. Over a period of two years, the Taskforce gathered 4,000 pieces of Member feedback, reviewed over 50 policy proposals, generated four white papers, and published two submissions to the Government related to modernizing the regulations that govern Ontario REALTORS®.
In November 2019, OREA welcomed Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Government and Consumer Services, Lisa Thompson, to our Ontario REALTOR® Party Conference, where they took the stage to introduce the Trust in Real Estate Service Act, 2019 (TRESA). TRESA includes over twenty of OREA’s key recommendation to modernize REBBA, including:
- Implementing specialty certifications;
- Stopping a ban on multiple representation;
- Strengthening the real estate discipline system;
- Blocking a mandatory open offer system;
- Allowing REALTORS® to use modern terms to market their business in their public-facing advertising, and;
- Permitting REALTORS® to form personal real estate corporations (PRECs).
As part of the conference, Board Delegates joined OREA at Queen’s Park to witness the introduction of TRESA. Less than one week later, TRESA was brought forward for second reading and was referred to Standing Committee for further debate.
In February 2020, OREA was invited to discuss the changes proposed to TRESA at the Standing Committee for General Government. OREA expressed our overall support for TRESA while encouraging the Government to consider two important amendments to the bill:
- Changing the term used to describe a REALTOR® from “salesperson” to “representative,” and;
- Advocating for the removal of a provision that would have required the Registrar to approve all changes to standard forms before they could be used by registrants. By removing this provision, the real estate profession can continue to be flexible in bringing forward necessary changes to forms to ensure greater consumer protection.
TRESA was ordered for a third reading and passed unanimously with the support of all parties in the Legislature. TRESA received Royal Assent on March 4, 2020.
But our work isn’t done yet.
Currently, OREA is working with the Provincial Government to draft the required regulations that are necessary to support the implementation of TRESA. Due to OREA’s advocacy, the Government is moving forward with regulatory amendments that would allow REALTORS® to form PRECs and utilize the term “REALTOR®” and “real estate agent” in their public facing advertising.
OREA will continue to update our Members as the outcomes of these consultations become public.