Real­tors beef up lead­er­ship with Hu­dak hire

On­tario Real Es­tate As­so­ci­a­tion set to tackle for­eign buyer is­sue

North Toronto Post - - News - By Jef­frey Sand­ford

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

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