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Feature Articles

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Dec. 2006 - Message to Canada's Real Estate Agents: 'Patch and Run" - It's Happening Across Canada, by Lana Waters, REM

Class action suit launched against CMHC re BC's leaky condo crisis - Tri City News, Dec. 9, 2005

Home Sour Home
What happens when a Republican homemaker goes up against an elusive construction company, a faceless bureaucracy, and the whole housing-industrial complex? by Randall Patterson, Mother Jones Magazine, July/Aug. 2005.

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9 Warning Signs...
How to recognize potential problem areas in your home.

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Top 10 Things to Do...
A top real estate lawyer offers 10 tips when buying a new home from a builder.
 

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 News Releases

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Nov. 13, 2013 CPBH news release re MPP Marchese's Bill concerning Ontario's new home warranty

 

Nov. 12, 2013 CPBH news release re Top 10 Items for Value for Money audit of Tarion

 

Feb. 27, 2012:  CPBH issues news release from News Conference at Queen's Park (Toronto) re HVA

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June 10, 2008 News Release: Following the Ombudsman Ontario's May 2008 report, "Building Clarity", Canadians for Properly Built Homes is calling on the Government of Ontario for fair compensation for homeowners who have suffered as a result of unfair warranty decisions in the past and essential changes to the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act and related Regulations.

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May 28, 2007 News Release: Canadians for Properly Built Homes is calling on the Government of Ontario to address key governance issues related to the Tarion Warranty Corporation

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March 26, 2007 News Release:  CPBH Releases Analysis of 2006 LAT Decisions on Consumer Complaints against Tarion: Call for Independent Study

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March 7, 2007 News Release: Canadians for Properly Built Homes is
calling on the Government of Ontario for significant changes to the
Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act and related Regulations.

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   Previous Releases
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CPBH News Release relating to the Federal Election issues and responses from the four national parties.

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Mar. 17, 2006 News Release relating to the Ontario government's initiative to improve energy efficiencies in homes/buildings.

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Other Articles of Interest





2014


April 18, 2014 - CTV News: Shingles blowing off roofs in Kanata neighbourhood

Aug. 26, 2014 by Tara Deschamps, Toronto Star: Lawyer charged with failing to return $15 million in condo deposits

Sept. 12, 2014 by Bill Mah, Edmonton Journal:  Owners ordered to demolish condemned Fort McMurray condos

Sept. 19, 2014 by Craig Pearson, Windsor Star: Who's responsible for newer home problems

Sept. 22, 2014 by Susan Pigg, Toronto Star:  Condo developer hit with $29 million class-action suit

Sept. 22, 2014 by Ellen Roseman, Toronto Star:  Home inspectors don't catch all problems: Roseman

Sept. 26, 2014 by Susan Pigg, Toronto Star: The lawyer who is taking on Toronto's condo developers



2013


Mar. 12, 2013, CBC - Winnipeg family blames 2 builders for house problems

Mar. 13, 2013, CBC - Manitoba's new home warranty plan is weak, some say

Apr. 15, 2013 - CBC - Manitoba homeowner upset with warranty of new home

Apr. 16, 2013 - Toronto Star - Ontario government failing condo owners

June 12, 2013 - Toronto Star - Ontario must do more to protect buyers of new homes

June 23, 2013 - Ottawa Citizen - City spent $2.2M on sinking homes built over sewer

July 6, 2013 - Toronto Star - Star Investigation:  Homebuyers not getting full picture from protector Tarion

July 8, 2013 - Toronto Star - Star gets action: Minister to work with Tarion over builders' housing records

July 15, 2013 - Toronto Star - MPPs from all parties would back value-for-money audit of Tarion

July 24, 2013 - CBC - Stucco leaves Ottawa homeowners stuck with repair bills

July 29, 2013 - Enterprise-Bulletin Dream home a nightmare for couple

Aug. 28, 2013 - Toronto Star - MPP Randy Hillier petition calling for auditor general review of Tarion

Fall 2013 - Toronto Star - Letters to the Editor - Homeowner views on Tarion, Minister MacCharles, justice and more

Oct. 24, 2013 - CBC - Don't give up, says Winnipeg homeowner after fight with builder

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2012

 


July 2012 - Toronto Life - The rush to build Toronto's new condos has resulted in falling
glass, disgruntled buyers and multi-million-dollar lawsuits. An investigation into who's to blame, by Philip Preville.

Mar. 1, 2012 - Toronto Star - Energy efficiency device remains in limbo

Mar. 3, 2012 - CTV's W5:  Seeking answers for home heating woes

Oct. 25, 2012 - Global News - Alberta government introduces mandatory warranty protection for new home buyers. Municipal Affairs Minister claims that Alberta now has the strongest home warranty protection in all of Canada.

Dec. 5, 2012 - The Intelligencer (Belleville, ON) - Government enabled Tarion


2011

 

Feb. 4, 2011 Edmonton Journal, Too much delay on building code

Mar. 24, 2011 - Edmonton Journal - Seven Fort McMurray condo complexes condemned, Residents will not be able to pick up belongings

Mar. 31, 2011 - Edmonton Journal - Fort McMurray condo complex has not been officially condemned, condo board making claim, but only municipality has authority to issue designation

April 30, 2011 - Vancouver Sun - With CASH gone, BC homeowners lose a strong voice, provincial group gone, but national voice remains

May 22, 2011 - Calgary Herald - Condo owners need their own advocacy group

Aug. 14, 2011 - Ottawa Citizen - Basic rights at risk, chief justice warns

Aug. 28, 2011 - Toronto Star - Windows fall from Montreal high-rise as Irene targets Canada


Nov. 9, 2011 - CBC British Columbia - Homebuyer with huge bill not told about old leak

Nov. 19, 2011 - Moneyville - Roseman:  Heating and cooling systems can fail in new homes

Dec. 5, 2011 - Moneyville - Roseman, New home warranty plan draws reader ire

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2010

 

June 3, 2010 - CBC - Ontario home warranty may get more oversight

June 3, 2010 - Ontario home warranty may get oversight from the Ombudsman of Ontario

June 23, 2010 - Ottawa, ON - Auditor says City of Ottawa used unqualified building inspectors

July 19, 2010 - British Columbia - Leaky Condo crisis continues

Aug. 15, 2010, Edmonton Journal - Alberta fears hike in home prices.  Report urging tougher standards for builders gathers dust: critics

Aug. 19, 2010 - Alberta promises action on shoddy building practices

Sept. 23, 2010 - Alberta, Leaky homes anger buyers

Nov. 16, 2010 - British Columbia - BC couple hit with structural repairs says warranty company didn't protect them

Nov. 24, 2010 - Supreme Court of Canada backs B.C. leaky-condo owners

Dec. 13, 2010 Journal of Commerce, Vancouver builders were slow to accept rainscreen wallsystems, expert says

2008

 

Jan 12, 2008, Dream home a nightmare (the Bryden's Story), by Andrew Thomson, Ottawa Citizen

Jan. 26, 2008, Is secrecy a major structural defect in buyer protection? by Bob Aaron, Toronto Star

Feb. 21, 2008 - Soggy condo owners face $10M repair bill by Joel Kom, Calgary Herald

Apr. 12, 2008 - Beware if you're purchasing new to flip by Bob Aaron, The Toronto Star

Apr. 18, 2008 - Gatineau knew land unstable:  Councillor

Apr. 22, 2008 - Mike Holmes has gone green by John Mackle, The Vancouver Sun

Apr. 23, 2008 - Gatineau offers $70,000 per condemned house - however, owners must agree not to sue city in exchange for cash

May 15, 2008 Why China's buildings crumbled by Geoffrey York from the Globe and Mail

Sept. 14, 2008, Toronto Sun - New Homes Warranty Act is no guarantee

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2007

 

Tips on how to avoid buying a leaky condo by John Grasty, Western Living Condo, Fall/Winter, 2007

Nov. 24, 2007, Excessive costs cheapen justice, Toronto Star

Aug. 24, 2007, Tri-City News (BC) Letter to the Editor - Buyer Beware, by John Grasty

Aug. 21, 2007, Business Week, Foreclosure's Building Problem - Is shoddy home construction exacerbating the foreclosure crisis....? by Maya Roney

July 23, 2007, Globe and Mail, $25 million fire calls building codes into question by David Ebner

June 16, 2007, Warranty plan could be election issue, by Bob Aaron, Toronto Star

June 16, 2007, Behind the Tarion shield, by Gail Swainson, Toronto Star

June 16, 2007, More right than wrong with program, by Bob Finnigan, Toronto Star

June 6, 2007 Toronto Star, Tarion Warranty Corporation - Advocate named to protect new home buyers by Robert Benzie

May 24, 2007 The Hamilton Spectator - No permit, no building. Period by Lee Prokaska

May 22 and May 23, 2007 letters to the editor published in the Toronto Star relating to Bob Aaron's May 19, 2007 column

May 19, 2007, Tarion Warranty fails to protect consumers, Toronto Star, by Bob Aaron

May 14, 2007 Ontario government takes aim at underground economy in construction by the Canadian Press

May 3, 2007, Letter to the Editor, Toronto Star, CMHC should rate home builders

Mar. 23, 2007, Advocacy group seeks increased protection for new-home buyers, by Carolyn Leitch, Globe and Mail

March 22, 2007:  Toronto Star published Letters to the Editor related to Bob Aaron's Mar. 17, 2007 Toronto Star column

Mar. 17, 2007, Advocacy group dissatisfied with Tarion. However, minister indicates that improvements to warranty program are unlikely.....www.tarionsucks.com owned by Tarion Warranty Corporation, by Bob Aaron, Toronto Star

March 9, 2007, Top judge sounds alarm on trial delays, by Kirk Makin, Globe and Mail

Feb. 26, 2007, Ottawa man says he will sue developer and the City of Ottawa, by Julie Ireton, CBC -
here is the link with the story:

Feb. 17, 2007 - Warranty does not eliminate client's rights - primary purpose of Tarion is to administer Ontario New Home Warranties Plan, by Bob Aaron, Toronto Star

Feb. 10, 2007 - Buyers protected - Court backs purchasers in delayed closings, by Bob Aaron, Toronto Star

Jan. 7, 2007 - Energy Primer - Be Direct and Don't Back Down, by Kathryn Young, Ottawa Citizen

 

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2006

 

Dec. 18, 2006 - Major Canadian Law Suit Involving the Eaton Family and their home - Alleged Building Code Violations, Mould, and Health Issues, by PAUL WALDIE, Globe and Mail

Nov. 2006 Home Renovations turn into House of Horrors - CTV's W-Five

Sept. 12 and 14, 2006, Ottawa builder eventually comes though for homeowners, Ottawa Citizen, by Tony Cote

Oct. 16, 2006, Ottawa eyes privatization of CMHC, Globe and Mail, Heather Scoffield

Oct. 21, 2006, Beware of signing disclosure forms, by Bob Aaron

Leaky condo lawsuit offers lessons for all, The Toronto Star, July 22, 2006 by Bob Aaron

Search still on for leak-proof wall, The Province, Aug. 6, 2006 by Susan Lazaruk

University of Toronto professor provides insightful perspective on the need for better energy efficiency in newly built homes; calls for political courage and leadership, University of Toronto Bulletin, Sept. 12, 2006 by Dr. Kim Pressnail

Ottawa backtracks on leaky-condo review promise, Times Colonist, Victoria, Sept. 14, 2006, by Peter O'Neil

Continued serious problems in BC - 16 year old building:  $29 million condo faces $40 million repair bill, Vancouver Sun, Sept. 16, 2006 by Fiona Anderson and Glenn Bohn

Condos ‘structurally unsafe’; Kelowna, British Columbia: Engineers’ report says 236 units should not be occupied”...”residents of Discovery Bay,a three-year-old condo development in Kelowna, have been advised to leave” (July 3, 2006, The Province).

US Study: More New Homes Contain Life-Threatening Defects (July 2006, Realty Times)

Litigation can prove a costly nightmare - buyer goes to court five times to try to recover $15,000 deposit, Bob Aaron, Toronto Star, Mar. 23, 2006

A matter of health: Many materials give off toxic fumes for 15 years, Ottawa Citizen, April 01, 2006

Dark side of a dream home:  BC couple battles for four years with builder and warranty provider, Joanne Hatherly, Victoria Times, April 23, 2006

Tory MP John Cummins loads smoking gun over BC leaky condo crisis - wants a judicial inquiry into Ottawa's liability, Vancouver Sun, May 11, 2006

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2005

 

Dec. 29, 2005:  Making housing an election issue by Jim Adair, Reality Times

Class action suit launched against CMHC re BC's leaky condo crisis - Tri City News, Dec. 9, 2005

Federal Government accused of "cover up" in British Columbia's leaky condo crisis, National Post, Sept. 29, 2005

Building envelope problems not limited to British Columbia, The Trowel, Aug./Sept. 2005

Mould attacks! Phoenix News Times, Oct. 13, 2005

A few ideas for the minister - Jan. 1, 2005. - Toronto Star - Bob Aaron
Consumers need more protection Force builders to live up to promises
At a recent press conference in Toronto, Ontario Consumer Minister Jim Watson revealed that he is a regular reader of Bob Aaron's column. In case he is looking for some items to place on his agenda for the new year, here is Bob's personal list of suggestions for 2005:

Beware the U.S. housing bubble - January 1, 2005
Globe & Mail - Don Vialoux
According to Don Vialoux, a market analyst, given how highly leveraged U.S. consumers are financially, "anything that reduces the value of their real estate assets will have a dramatic effect on their spending habits and the U.S. economy" - this probably applies to Canadians and Canada as well.

Dream Home - Jan. 05 - Toronto Star - Bob Aaron
Supreme Court of Canada ends 12 year dispute: Home builders are responsible for construction defects not only to the first buyer, but to subsequent buyers as well.

Basement suites must meet requirements - Jan. 29, 2005 - Toronto Star - Bob Aaron
There are health, fire and building code standards, Thousands fail to comply with regulations.

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Feb. 1, 2005 - CPBH appears on television with Catherine Clark on Talk Ottawa
On Feb. 1, 2005, Catherine Clark of Rogers TV “Talk Ottawa” invited Karen Somerville, President of Canadians for Properly Built Homes (CPBH) , and two members of the CPBH Advisory Council, Don Buchan, President of Buchan, Lawton, Parent Ltd. Consulting Engineers, and Paul Wilson, President of Home Inspectors to appear on her live hour-long television program. Chris Arnold of Mann and Partners, LLP, joined the program by telephone. Key topics included:

  • the need for better consumer awareness and protection in relation to purchasing a newly built home, and the lack of an effective consumer “safety net”;
  • that while there are many good builders, there are serious issues being experienced in the new home industry resulting in a wide variety of quality being found in new homes;
  • the lack of information available to the public about specific builder performance;
  • issues with the City of Ottawa's inspection regime; and
  • the lack of professional requirements to be a builder or a home inspector.

Callers telephoned the show to share problems that they have had with their new home, and to ask questions of the guests. Feedback from the program was very positive, and Ms. Clark indicated that she may invite these guests to reappear on her program for a follow-up at a later date.

Environmental Hypersensitivity Haunts Some Canadians
Environmentally-hypersensitive individuals need homes that will not make them sick. PJ Wade explains that this surprisingly common affliction may be counteracted by appropriate construction design and management skills -- and lots of money. Realty Times, March 15, 2005.

Issues to Consider Prior to Signing a Purchase Agreement.
In addition to the good points raised in this article, Canadians for Properly Built Homes encourages readers to ensure there is also a clause in the Purchase Agreement that states a Final Occupancy Permit must be in place prior to taking possession Bob Aaron, Toronto Star, Apr. 2, 2005.

Include floor plan in offer to avoid surprises...
Toronto Star Reporter Bob Aaron discusses how to avoid getting a different home than you bargained for. Without site plans in your agreement, you may be at risk.

Toxic mould in homes becoming a hot issue, Bob Aaron, Toronto Star, June 25, 2005

CTV's W-Five - Zonolite in Canadian Homes - A Silent Killer - April 18, 2005

Occupancy Permit issue - buyers told it is illegal to occupy home without it. Bob Aaron, Toronto Star, May 28, 2005


Boosting builders' public image - Focus groups told the Canadian Home Builder's Association that poor customer service tops a list of complaints, Jim Adair, Canadian Homes and Cottages, Spring, 2005

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2004

 

Manitoba First Nation Sues Ottawa over Mouldy Homes
WebPosted Tue Nov 16 19:16:18 2004
WINNIPEG---The Dakota Plains First Nation of southern Manitoba is suing the federal government in a claim that states every home and building on its reserve is contaminated with toxic mould.
The lawsuit cites chronic health problems with the possibility of fatal consequences for children and the elderly.

Chief Orville Smoke says a doctor has ordered two families to leave. "I think the lawsuit will bring attention to something that has been ongoing," said Chief Smoke. The band says Ottawa has known about the contamination for years but has done nothing to address the problem.Smoke is seeking compensation or new construction.  Copyright (C) 2004 CBC. All rights reserved.

Readers weigh in on disclosure statements - Oct. 30, 2004
Toronto Star - Bob Aaron
Hot topic in the Toronto real estate market .There are strong views both ways on SPIS forms

High-tech buildings use sunlight, sea water to save energy - October 25, 2004
Associated Press - Ellen Simon
Buildings are getting smarter - and the next generation of building materials is expected to do even more.

Staying silent in home sale may equal fraud - October 16, 2004
Toronto Star - Bob Aaron
Court rules couple lied on PCS form. Leaking windows should be reported.
The traditional wisdom is that the doctrine of caveat emptor (buyer beware) is alive and well in Canada, as long as there is no fraud, mistake or misrepresentation.

Sandra Bullock Awarded $7 Mln in Texas Home Dispute - takes on builder and wins in court:
 a victory for homeowners!
Grassroots Groups Claim Bullock Victory As Their Own
  -  October 22, 2004
Realty Times - Broderick Perkins
Grassroots consumer advocacy groups say a movie star's real life courtroom drama is a symbolic victory for all homeowners who've suffered construction defects -- and the movie star appears to agree.
(see the original article August 24, 2004 below)

Builders must fulfill their promises- October 2, 2004
Toronto Star - Bob Aaron
Slope unsuitable for chosen model. Court awards cost of retaining wall

Beefed Up Protection - Oct 2, 2004
Warranty coverage in Ontario rises to $150,000
Ottawa Citizen - Sheila Brady
Protection against faulty workmanship in Ontario's housing industry just got a lot better with a 50-percent increase in warranty coverage to a maximum of $150,000.

Wrong brick colour used for couple's dream home - August 28, 2004
Toronto Star - Bob Aaron
What happens when a builder constructs your dream home, but uses the wrong colour brick?

Bullock in court over dream home - August 24, 2004
The Daily Telegraph via the Ottawa Citizen -Marcus Warren
Actress claims builder bilked her out of millions in seven-year house dispute. Seems it doesn't matter how much you pay for a home.
AUSTIN, Texas - Sandra Bullock achieved yesterday what countless homeowners dream of but few carry off: she confronted her builder in court in a rancorous dispute over work on her house.

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Even amateur builders can be liable - Aug. 14, 2004. 01:00 AM - Toronto Star - Bob Aaron
Ontario's highest court has ruled that anyone who builds a home that is dangerous or unsafe — whether that person is a professional or amateur builder — is liable to subsequent owners of the house, whether or not they had a contract with the builder. 

Building permits' value soared in June - Broadcast News - August 9, 2004
OTTAWA -- Statistics Canada is calling it "blistering.''
The agency says the value of building permits issued in June surged more than 27 per cent to $5.3 billion. That set a new monthly record, breaching the $5 billion threshold for the first time.
StatsCan says municipalities issued a record $3.4 billion in housing permits in June, touched off by a renewed demand for apartments, condominiums, town homes and other multifamily dwellings.
On the nonresidential side, nearly $2 billion in building projects were approved, up nearly 33 per cent from May. It's a strong indication that construction on commercial buildings is also about to expand.
With half of the year accounted for, municipalities have issued a total of $27.1 billion in building permits so far, up 9.4 per cent from the same period in 2003.

Housing minister owns shares in builder - Sunday, August 08, 2004
Ottawa Citizen - Glen McGregor
Home-building firm pitching its technology for low-income units. New Liberal Housing Minister Joe Fontana owns shares in a company that wants Canadian governments to use its home-building technology for low-income housing projects

Nursing your Health - August 7, 2004
Ottawa Citizen - Charles Enman
Moulds, moisture, dust mites and poor air quality can make some owners sick. "The problems stem from many sources -- home building materials, poor ventilation, even the products used to keep the house clean."

Buyers back out after plan altered   - July 24, 2004
Toronto Star - Bob Aaron
Builder changed construction agreement Cathedral ceiling replaced with flat version
Two home buyers are canceling their purchase after the builder made a fundamental change to their construction agreement — and they have the weight of Ontario's highest court behind them.

House killing her, woman says - July 12, 2004
Toronto Star - Robert Cribb
Government to evict Pickering woman  - 'They just want me to go away and die'
The house where Heather Jack lives has slowly poisoned her, she says.

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Winds of change at Warranty Board - July 10, 2004
Toronto Star - Bob Aaron
Consumer minister to appoint four OHBA no longer has complete control of board
For the first time in the history of Ontario's home warranty program, Watson said, the Ontario Home Builders' Association will not have complete control over the composition of the board of the Tarion Warranty Corp. (formerly the Ontario New Home Warranty Program).

Canadian Advocacy Groups Form To Help New Home Buyers
by Jim Adair - July 1, 2004
After moving out of her new home because she says it makes her sick, an Ottawa woman has launched a consumer advocacy group for new home buyers and consumers who are renovating their houses.

Builders Push Housing Issues In Canadian Election - June 17, 2004
Realty Times - Jim Adair
As the Canadian federal election winds down to voting day, only a few issues relating to housing have commanded much attention. Early in the campaign, New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton made headlines by stating Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin is responsible for the deaths of homeless people because of his government's lack of action on housing issues. But his remarks sparked more discussion about Layton's campaign style than the issue of housing.

Warranty will cover some mould damage - May 15, 2004
Toronto Star - Bob Aaron
Tarion Warranty Corp. states that some mould issues are covered under their program while home improvements and contents are not. Homeowners must ensure that they adequately ventilate their homes.

Woman presses for better building code - March 4, 2004
CBC Ottawa - Cory O'Kelly & Susan Burgess
An Ottawa woman who blames mould in her new home for making her sick is starting a lobby group to push the government for improved building standards.

Couple takes homebuilder to court - March 3, 2004
CBC Ottawa - Cory O'Kelly & Susan Burgess
An Ottawa couple is suing a local builder for $2 million over mould in their new home, but they face a long wait for their day in court.

ONHWP has obligation to publish claims on Web site - February 21, 2004
Toronto Star - Bob Aaron
A Superior Court judge in Toronto has ruled that the Ontario New Home Warranty Program (ONHWP) has a right to publish notice of a warranty claim payment on its Web site, even where the builder disputes responsibility for the construction defect.

 Consumer Reports' 'Housewrecked' Cheered, Booed - January 2, 2004
Realty Times - Broderick Perkins
A Consumer Reports' new home defects study is getting the expected reaction from consumer advocates who say such a report is long over due and from the home building industry which chides the magazine for "preconceived notions" and a "deeply flawed thesis."

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2002

 

Has the New Home Situation Improved?. CBC, March, 2002.

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