Canada’s Investigative Consumer Show, Marketplace, and Mike Holmes, HGTV’s contractor of Holmes on Homes, collaborated for a CBC episode entitled, “New Home Nightmares“.
Although it only scratches the surface, this production demonstrates how the legislative system in Canada is badly broken leaving home buying consumers at the mercy of unscrupulous home builders and developers, and ineffective protection agencies and government.
As inadequate as the minimum standards of the building code are (Holmes calls it, “minimum code crap”.), they are still not being met, nor are they being properly enforced.
The negligence on behalf of government is so widespread consumers are believing that home warranty protection in Canada is for the builder.
Holmes says, “inspectors should be fired, builders should be in jail”. Whose job is it to check for fraudulent practices when independent home inspectors consistently find more problems than the warranty provider inspectors? Is it time for the RCMP, or Sheila Fraser (AG) to get involved? Clearly a major investigation and overhaul needs to be done.
The subtitle of this episode asks and then responds, “Think you’re safe from problems when you buy a new home? Think again!” If you have any inclination to buy a new home anywhere in Canada this might just be the best advice available: “Think again!”
Just a side note on homeowner champion Mike Holmes, last year I read an email sent by the Holmes on Homes Story Producer, Brian Warchol, to a victim requesting help. Here is an excerpt: “As the Story Producer for Holmes On Homes, I wanted to let you know that I do read all the story submissions. It is personally very heartbreaking for me to know that there are so many people in desperate need of assistance. We have received more than 70,000 requests for help this year…” So when Mike Holmes says, “this is the standard crap I’m used to seeing“, and, “I’m getting tired of hearing about these problems“, he has good reason.
Across Canada it is, “same crap, different pile“!
As the volunteer president of “BC’s Housing Consumer Advocate” I hear these same stories every week; consumers not getting what they had expected, warranty claims denied by unqualified employees, unable to navigate their way through the bureaucratic labyrinth, unable to get any satisfaction, etc.
I believe the production team of this Marketplace program just touched the surface to give us a sample of a Canadian pandemic; good job by the way.
I’ll close my comments with a question to ponder: “How exactly is quality defined in the building industry”?