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Tangerine names new CEO – Which Mortgage Canada

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Tangerine Bank, a subsidiary of Scotiabank, is set to embark on new growth plans as it recently welcomed its new president and CEO.

Gillian Riley, who was appointed to fill in the position effective Dec. 1, will be responsible for setting and spearheading Tangerine’s strategic objectives to solidify its position in Canada’s digital banking industry.

“[Riley’s appointment] is a reflection of her ability to build strong teams and deliver outstanding business results. Gillian’s extensive experience in retail banking positions her exceptionally well to lead Tangerine during this time of growth,” said James O’Sullivan, Scotiabank’s group head of Canadian banking.

Riley joined Scotiabank in 1994. Prior to her appointment as Tangerine president and CEO, she served as executive vice president in commercial banking.

Riley succeeds Brenda Rideout, who served as president and CEO of the company since 2017 and had been with the organization for more than 18 years.

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Condo board can install security cameras at its discretion without owner approval

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Our condo board of directors sent out a notice to that security cameras were being installed. No information was given about the cost and owners were not advised whether they are entitled to vote on the installation. Doesn’t the Condominium Act require the board to provide that information? We don’t believe that the cameras are necessary for our security.

The installation of security cameras constitutes an addition, alteration or improvement to the common elements. The Condominium Act requires the board to send a notice to the owners describing the addition, alteration or improvement, setting out its estimated cost and how it will be paid. It also requires that the board tell owners they are entitled to requisition an owner’s meeting to vote on the alteration.

Security cameras can be installed, without an owners’ vote, if the board deems it necessary for safety.
Security cameras can be installed, without an owners’ vote, if the board deems it necessary for safety.  (Dreamstime)

The Condo Act provides, however, that the corporation — by resolution of the board and without notice to the owners — may carry out the addition, alteration or improvement in certain circumstances. That includes if, in the opinion of the board, it is necessary for the safety or security of the persons using the property.

Therefore, even if many owners disagree, the board’s opinion that the cameras were necessary for security is all that is needed for the corporation to carry out the installation — without providing the notice to the unit owners that would otherwise be required.

I am an owner and resident at a townhouse condominium. I have been attending the sessions prior to board meetings at which owners are invited to raise matters and concerns. My questions about problems with the board’s procedures, in regard to proxy forms, are answered by the president with responses such as “it’s with the lawyers,” or “we will discuss it at the board meeting later,” or “maybe you’ll get a reply soon.” My written and verbal communications with the president have been ignored. What can I do?

If the disagreement relates to requirements of the Condominium Act — and not to the requirements of declaration, bylaws or rules — the matter cannot be referred to mediation under the Condo Act. It must be referred to court for the issuance of a compliance order.

In your situation, the disagreement may well relate to the obligation of the directors under the Condo Act to act honestly and in good faith. You could maintain that the directors have failed to act honestly and in good faith by not answering your questions that have been properly raised prior to the directors’ meetings, and by the failure of the directors to reply to your verbal and written requests submitted to the president.

If the judge rules in your favour, you could request the court to order that the condominium corporation reimburse you for your legal costs relating to the court application. You could even request that the directors be personally responsible for reimbursing you as a result of their failure to act honestly and in good faith.

Gerry Hyman is a former president of the Canadian Condominium Institute and contributor for the Star. Reach him on email: gerry@gerryhyman.com



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When to file a complaint with RECO and what to expect when you do: Ask Joe

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Do I need to know if a law has been broken before I file a complaint with RECO? What happens after a complaint has been filed?

The short answer to your question is no, the onus is not on you to determine if the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002, (REBBA) has been violated.

But if you do file a complaint against a real estate salesperson, broker or brokerage using the Real Estate Council of Ontario’s (RECO) online complaint form, please provide as many details as possible and submit any relevant documents or other materials to help us make that assessment.

Reporting your complaint helps us protect the public and allows us to enhance education and practice guidelines for the industry. That said, before you file a complaint, we ask that you first try to discuss the issue with your salesperson and possibly with their broker of record (the brokerage manager), because many complaints or simple misunderstandings — such as unreturned phone calls or a perceived lack of communication — can be resolved at that level with a frank dialogue. My experience is that businesses want to resolve matters; it’s good for business.

Generally speaking, the industry is highly committed to meeting RECO’s consumer protection standards. In fact, on an annual basis, 25 to 30 per cent of the complaints we receive come from individuals who are registered with us: salespeople and brokers.

Should you decide the issue can’t be resolved at the brokerage level and you must file a complaint, RECO will conduct an investigation and usually ask you to provide additional information and documents. Meanwhile, the subject of your complaint and their brokerage, will be notified that a complaint has been made, and they will be given an opportunity to respond. Regardless of the outcome, you will be advised of our decision.

Every complaint is unique, so the time needed to close a case file depends upon the nature of the allegation and the information that’s available to us. For conduct that is supported by sufficient evidence and is within our mandate, disciplinary actions can range from education requirements and fines up to $50,000 for individuals ($100,000 for brokerages). Violations of REBBA are referred to the Ontario Court of Justice.

If we’re concerned that a salesperson will not obey the law, will not act with honesty and integrity or is financially irresponsible in their business dealings, RECO can take steps to suspend or revoke their registration. This happens in a very small percentage of cases.

Keep in mind that RECO can’t get you out of a legally binding agreement with a brokerage or another party, and we don’t have the authority to resolve monetary or contractual disputes or to assess or award damages. Discuss your options with a lawyer if you’re considering any legal action.

If you have a question for Joe about the home-buying or -selling process, please email askjoe@reco.on.ca.

Joe Richer is registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) and contributor for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @RECOhelps



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Duplication of services hurting real estate development in the GTHA

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My recent columns have examined the tripled — and nearly quadrupled — land values in the GTHA due to unintended consequences of Ontario’s “Places to Grow” growth plan.

A recent report by Malone Given Parsons, titled Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, Simcoe County Land Supply Analysis, and the accompanying commentary, The Future of Housing in the GTHA — The Impact of Land Use Policy, reveals that the GTHA can expect a severe shortage of designated greenfield land for new residential development by the middle of 2025, or earlier.

Malone Given Parsons’ report also found there will continue to be value escalation in land/lot values, further affecting home prices in the GTHA. This will increase the challenge of housing the anticipated 115,000 new residents expected in the region every year.

Growth policies implemented by the former provincial government in 2006 and 2017 have reduced the amount of available land for new housing communities, increased land prices and caused home prices to skyrocket. Figures provided by MCAP show that, since 2006, the value of serviced lots/land has increased by more than 300 per cent. Land available for development in the GTHA is shrinking, while demand for new housing and employment lands continues to grow.

One reason for the cost increase is the duplication of municipal and provincial environmental and technical studies and approvals that greatly increase the length of time required to take designated greenfield lands (land approved for new housing) to the housing construction stage.

Let’s use York Region as an example of how all three levels of government can bog down a development with numerous consultations, studies and meetings. The booming region just north of Toronto is projected to grow to 1.8 million residents by 2041. The communities of Aurora, Newmarket and East Gwillimbury are in dire need of a new waste water treatment plant to meet the demand for this impending growth. Planning for the Upper York Sewage Solution began nearly 10 years ago and yet it remains unbuilt.

York Region consulted with 36 review agencies, including federal and provincial agencies, conservation authorities, local municipalities and utilities. Its environmental assessment report was submitted to the provincial Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change for approval in July 2014. As we near the end of 2018, York Region is still waiting for its waste water treatment plant. Without it, new homes cannot be built and land intended for development remains in limbo.

If municipalities and the provincial government do not make a concerted effort to cut red tape, reduce duplication of studies and help streamline planning requirements, the cost of land/lot values will continue to affect home prices in the GTHA.

Recently, the provincial government introduced “Ontario’s Government for the People Helping Create More Housing” initiative. BILD is very supportive of this initiative as the province looks for new ways to remove barriers to building the right kind of housing in the right places.

BILD and the OHBA will be at the table to give their recommendations to create a broader housing supply action plan. To read the analysis and the commentary please visit www.bildgta.ca/reports.

David Wilkes is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and a contributor for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @bildgta



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