Realtors beef up leadership with Hudak hire
Ontario Real Estate Association set to tackle foreign buyer issue
The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) this month announced that Conservative MPP and former Ontario Tory party leader Tim Hudak will step down from the legislature in the coming weeks to take up a new role as the new chief executive officer of the organization.
“We’ve just made the announcement,” said Ray Ferris, president of OREA. “He still maintains a seat in the legislature until Sept. 16. So until then he’ll be very busy with that. [But] It’s very exciting for us. It’s quite exciting to see the association has come to the level of success that would allow us to attract someone so accomplished.”
Hudak has been an MPP for 21 years and was the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario for five years, including in the last provincial election in 2014. He was defeated by the Liberal Party led by Premier Kathleen Wynne. But he is no stranger to real estate issues.
“I am tremendously excited about this new opportunity and the important mission it supports. Ontario realtors work hard every day to help Ontarians achieve their dreams of home ownership,” Hudak said.
“In my travels I have seen first-hand the leadership roles realtors take on in every community and how much charitable work OREA members do for local causes. I am honoured to lead a talented, dedicated team charged with delivering products and services to Ontario realtors,” he said.
As minister of consumer and business services in the Mike Harris government, he worked with OREA to craft legislation around the Business Brokers Act of 2002 and the Real Estate Council of Ontario.
“He was a big proponent of e-signatures on real estate documents. He helped us on the issue of a grow-op registry,” said Ferris. “He was also helpful in stopping the spread of the land transfer tax from Toronto to the rest of the province.”
The province almost allowed other municipalities to charge the same land transfer tax as Toronto. But OREA, with the help of Hudak, managed to stop the proposal.The added depth at OREA comes at a time when a new issue looms. The idea of a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers of Canadian residential real estate has suddenly flared up. British Columbia recently applied such a tax in response to the issue of affordability. Ferris said the potential introduction of a similar tax on foreign buyers of Toronto real estate will be issue number one when Hudak comes on board.
“We’ve heard the [Ontario] minister of infrastructure say that what’s happening in Vancouver is happening here,” he explained.
Ferris said that only Toronto, and not the rest of Ontario, is experiencing the remarkable price increases that have occurred this spring of 2016.
“We are concerned about the issue of access to home ownership across the province. We think Tim Hudak can help with that mandate.”
New OREA chief executive officer Tim Hudak