Oakville Homes

November 7, 2016

REMEMBRANCE DAY – 2016

One of the privileges we enjoy as Canadians is the right to free speech, something we take for granted but, was won for us by those who fought for our country and prevented those who stifle free thought from taking it from us. My blog exists because of the sacrifices made by those before me and hopefully we can protect this privilege in the future. Some paid the ultimate sacrifice and were denied the benefits we now cherish. Take a moment to consider how lucky we are that we can spread the truth so easily. Some still try to stifle the truth through lawyers and bully boys but, we as Canadians, will continue to protect what has been earned for us. Take a moment this November 11th to respect those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to give you what you have now.

 

remembrance-poppy

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Colonel John McCrae

REMEMBRANCE DAY TOPIX

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January 10, 2014

Order of Canada – Now Peter Gilgan & ex-con Conrad Black have one.

I once had a very senior person of our organization attend a meeting and as he left, he let us know just how he felt about the future.  His statement, “The job is f#@ked” spread like wildfire and we then realized just how rough a road we were to drive.  You see, he was totally involved in the job and gave everything to making sure things happened.  I guess he realized, there were things out there beyond his control that limited his ability to further the occupation. With the recent Order of Canada awards and the indecision concerning Conrad Black, I can see why he said it.

I recently saw that Mattamy’s Peter Gilgan became a “Member of the Order of Canada“.  Now, he has given millions to various charities and had the appropriate photo-ops with the local politicians, thus furthering their careers.  He also had a very warm working relationship with former Oakville Mayor Ann Mulvale (United Way donation queen as well), which I have pointed out in the past.  A relationship that might have had some bearing on my case that was before Oakville town council.  She did push Peter for money during my case but, who knows,  hard to actually prove that she made a deal so, I’ll just point to the facts and let the reader read between the lines.

In the end, a very worthwhile organization, Wellspring, benefited.  Funny, but they didn’t thank me for the donation, which I think was probably made up of some of the shortcut money Gilgan saved by putting in illegal wiring to my house.  Sorry, he did not personally put it in – some employee of Mattamy or a sub-contractor actually did the deed but, it was Mattamy management that got it through with the building inspector.  As they say, the buck stops at the top – usually.  Oakville has done well ever since in the donation department.

So, if Peter Gilgan is getting his award for his donations, then it is well deserved.  It was given by a Governor General who can’t make a very easy decision regarding ex-con Conrad Black.  I mean, there are other cases that have been dealt with.  One lost his medal due to anti-semitic remarks and another for being a con.  I guess some get the royal boot while others seem to be able to hang on, no matter what they have done.

Truth hurts but is not libel.  Mattamy has tried to close me up with threatened law suits, bully boys and even meetings where supposed concern was expressed.  I did have one Mattamy management type approach me once and actually commended me for what I was doing – showing the truth.  He is a man I respect.  He had no power but, at least he understood honesty and good construction, unlike others in the organization.

So, the moral of the story.  As long as you keep donating the money and giving the politicians a photo-op, they will cover up illegal wiring and other things.  They don’t care that my children were put at risk.  The Town of Oakville covered their tracks – original report can’t be located and they have no interest in doing the honourable thing – maybe an apology for doing something wrong that could have harmed children.  They are hiding behind the skirts of their lawyers, along with Peter Gilgan.

Hope you enjoy the medal Peter.  If you ever go bankrupt, you will be shoved aside like moldy cheese by the same people giving you praise for your donations.  For those of us who have suffered the Mattamy lack of quality – we understand the truth and it certainly isn’t an Order of Canada.

Maybe a “Rotten Tomatoes” award.

P.S.  Don’t worry Peter, I won’t personally throw the award at you at your next appearance.  But then, I could wear a black shirt and pants and show up behind you for a photo-op.  Steven Harper didn’t seem overly unhappy about that technique.

December 7, 2013

Oakville likes clean air but pooh poohs House Inspector bylaw.

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According to an article in the Hamilton Spectator, Hamilton wants to emulate an Oakville bylaw that “has reduced fine particulate matter emissions by 37 per cent since town council passed the bylaw in 2010.”  “Under the bylaw, if prospective businesses don’t measure up, council can block them from town” or, levy a fine.  Powerful stuff designed to increased the livability of the Town of Oakville.  One would find it hard to argue against such a bylaw, although federal and provincial laws usually cover this type of environmental concern.  Hamilton, a city which has traditionally attracted large industries, does have some concerns but, the Oakville bylaw has not been challenged.

So, it seems that Oakville council had the guts to put forward a bylaw designed to protect its citizens, even though federal and provincial legislation is actually in control of these matters.

Hmmmm.  But, they quake in fear of passing a bylaw that would enhance their ability to enforce their mandated responsibility to enforce the Building Code.  Why is this?

It was suggested to them in council and in writing that they pass a bylaw that would allow potential house buyers of NEW CONSTRUCTION to hire a house inspector to represent them in the construction phase of their new home and monitor the build to ensure all aspects of the construction would be built to code and their own specifications as outlined in the agreement to purchase.  Exactly the same privileges that commercial construction enjoys, including any construction by the Town of Oakville.

It would only cost the home buyer the cost of the House Inspector.  Much like putting in an upgrade.  It would not be mandatory on the part of the home buyer but totally voluntary and a RIGHT.  Town of Oakville council felt it could not pass this bylaw for some unstated reason but passed the buck to the province.  I see, the Town of Oakville council feels it can add a bylaw to the already in force legislation by the federal government and provincial government concerning air quality and force industries to follow their own guidelines but not put in a bylaw to protect homebuyers under the building code (which they are mandated to enforce).

Weird.

This clean air Oakville bylaw could cost jobs if industries feel the bylaw is too restrictive.  The bylaw could increase the cost of goods to consumers if the industry has to put more money into their premises (and pass said costs to consumers).  The proposed House Inspector bylaw would not cost the home buyer anything unless they chose to hire a house inspector.  Now, some politicians say that the bylaw would force builders to increase their costs to accommodate this added RIGHT to a home buyer.  Why?  Are they not already building to minimum building code and are they not already building quality products?  Why would a professional builder fear a house inspector, unless they are doing shortcuts to maximize profit while minimizing quality?  Why would a builder like Mattamy force house inspectors to sign restricting forms that limit their ability to inform the home buyer of any issues?

And, why would the Town of Oakville fear having House Inspectors enhance the enforcement of the Building Code?  Do they fear their own building inspectors aren’t doing quality inspections?  Well, in my case they allowed illegal wiring but maybe that was just a one of.

Maybe local politicians get donations from builders/developers but not big business?  Was that a problem?  Well, in the last municipal election, many politicians made it a point to note that they did not receive donations from builders or developers.  Some said they didn’t get help, which they did in the past.  Some were photographed with developers/builders at their functions, but did not receive a donation.

Politicians and Developers Wor$ together.

 
Politicians and Developers Wor$ together.

Now, this bylaw could be passed in a number of jurisdictions as I am sure there are many home buyers who need protection from some builders.  In Alberta, there was an issue where homes were not finished on the outside but finishing work started on the inside, contrary to best construction practice.  Sorry Mattamy, but it’s another one of your less than stirling examples of quality workmanship.

Mattamy Lawyer note:  Send me a picture of some other builder not following best practice and I’ll put it in for you.  I’m not restrictive on my examples, just short of examples of other builders.

Airdrie unfinished houses

Airdrie unfinished houses

If you have been a reader of this blog, I think you would agree that there needs to be more protection for the home buyer of new homes than what is in place now.  We can’t always depend on the builder, we can’t always depend on the building inspector and, based on complaints, builder dominated Tarion isn’t always in your corner.  Now, I have had contact with the Oakville building department and, up until now, have not received any information on what strategies they have to ensure that new construction north of Dundas Street will be up to standard.  They only quote the Building Code, which says they will do something if the builder tells them something.  What about complaints?  Do they act upon them? As you know, you have few resources available to you and usually it ends up just you and a lawyer to deal with stuff.  It would be nice to have a house inspector help you but they are reluctant to get involved until at least your first inspection, after you take custody.  On some issues, that is a little late or, if the builder does do a remedy, you house is a total wreck for a while.  Isn’t it better to catch things before the finishing touches are done?  I’d think so, but Oakville Town Council would rather you breathe clean air from a factory than help you breathe clean air in your house (you know, mould etc due to hidden issues behind the walls). Most builders discourage you from inspecting your house during construction.  If they allow you, excellent and I’d suggest working with your builder to remediate any issues prior to closing.  They might be a honourable builder who respects his clients and wants a quality job done.  In my case – lot left to be desired. Some people visit their homes in progress but can expect the boot if caught.  If you risk it, I’d suggest you take safety equipment with you (vest, hard hat etc) to make sure they don’t get you under the safety laws.  Building Inspector would probably do you while letting the builder put in illegal wiring, leaving holes in the foundation, etc.  So, SAFETY FIRST. If you have the kind of builder who puts you off, make sure you document everything – even document with photos if you have a good builder, just in case.  But, a bad builder, do the paperwork and photograph everything.  I’d let your lawyer know about this as well. You could also draw any building code issues to the attention of the local building department for follow-up and make sure you document.  If in Ontario, all this documentation only strengthens your case with Tarion. Now, based on my experience with the Town of Oakville, I suggest the following if you live in this area (suggest as well for areas with similar issues). If you monitor your construction, document everything in writing and take lots of photos.  Why would anyone care if they are building properly, right?  Then, send information to the building department director via registered mail.  Do not delay as bad work can be quickly covered up and a building inspector might not bother to really check.  In my case they didn’t notice a lack of insulation in the bay window. I would also send a letter with the information to the mayor.  This brings in accountability for the Building Department to the elected representative you have in place. Also, DEMAND that an OCCUPANCY PERMIT be issued and given to your lawyer before you close.  In my case, there was no occupancy permit and, I understand that one would not have been given based on the condition of my house.  My lawyer and I screwed up and the politicians (Mattamy / Peter Gilgan gives large in terms of donations) and builder clammed up to protect their asses.  That’s one reason there is no House Inspector bylaw in Oakville.  The lawyers circled the wagons to protect themselves.  Mattamy probably saved over a $100k by the Town of Oakville allowing the sale to go through by giving a permit on the illegally wired furnace.  So, by not documenting and getting people involved early, it can cost you big time. I have put the mailing information at the end of this blog for your convenience. Remember: This is probably the largest investment in your life.  Why have it spoiled by people not doing what you paid for.  It’s your money.  If you don’t care, just remember that when you sell it, you are responsible to the next buyer who might hire a house inspector and since it is a resale, is perfectly right to do so.  I’ve had to fix a lot of Mattamy mistakes to ensure my house can be sold issue free and that was out of my pocket.  If you are buying a flipped house, ensure all issues were dealt with and no issues are outstanding.  A professional house inspector can help you there. Mr. John TutertDirector of Building ServicesChief Building OfficialCorporation of the Town of Oakville1225 Trafalgar RoadOakville, OntarioL6H 0H3 Mr. Rob BurtonMayorCorporation of the Town of Oakville1225 Trafalgar Road

Oakville, Ontario
L6H 0H3
Note: In all fairness to the present Mayor, the issues described occurred during the term of the previous mayor.  I’m not allowed to bring this matter forward to the present council.

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November 13, 2013

Want to write a complaint against Mattamy or any other builder. Follow Roseman’s advice.

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I read a very informative column in the November 13th Toronto Star Business Section (B2) written by Ellen Roseman, a writer on personal finance and consumer issues.  I have copied it below as it is a very good article if you wish to lodge a complaint in public against a contractor, builder, developer or any business.  A lot of businesses want you to put POSITIVE reviews on various websites, some to the point of throwing extras at you (which can make any review somewhat suspect).  Some builders have been accused of winning awards by stacking the deck with freebies, good service, etc and have received good reviews.  Some people have written they regret giving these positive surveys as the good service and freebies disappeared once the survey was in.

These surveys are a two-way street and so are the websites builders want you to go to and put in a good word.  It also allows those of us shafted to speak the truth.  Some builders will use bully boy tactics and lawyers to go after those who speak the truth.  They don’t bother those who lie and put in wrong reviews that make them look good.

I myself have experienced the bully boy and lawyer treatment.  I had one Mattamy Homes lawyer yell at me in a truly unprofessional manner.  If I had done that at work, several agencies would have cut me a new one.

We all have the right of freedom of speech but it does come with some responsibilities.  In my case, I’ve spoken the truth and I am sure Mattamy Homes really doesn’t want the whole thing brought out into public – thus the gag order.  I am limited.  If you wish to put forward your displeasure, there are various avenues in which you can exercise your right.  A recent article in the Toronto Star notes that NDP MPP Rosario Marchese (  rmarchese-co@ndp.on.ca ) is trying to introduce a new bill that will correct some of the unfairness some experience with Tarion.  He states that “Ontarians deserve and need meaningful consumer protection on the largest purchase most of them ever make – a new home”.  Hopefully he will get the support he needs.  Why not email him and let him know the taxpayer in Ontario supports him.  I only wish they would pass legislation that would allow new homebuyers to hire a professional house inspector to monitor the construction and protect their interests.  The present system does not really give us the protection we need.

Below is Roseman’s column.  She gives good advice.  Just tell the truth.

Note:  Any Mattamy lawyer who feels I have not stated the truth, let me know and I will consider any complaint from you.  Just don’t use the Bully Boys again – they might upset the neighbours.  Also, for the record, I am not NDP and therefore not pushing or supporting Marchese for re-election but, I have to give him KUDOS for doing something our Liberal and Conservatives (who get money from the developers) have not done.

Nasty online reviews can lead to lawsuits: Roseman

If a company gives bad service, you might write an online review telling others to stay away. Make sure your comments are factual.

By:        On Your Side,        Published on Tue Nov 12 2013
You hire a contractor after seeing good reviews online. But when the work doesn’t measure up, you write a review warning others to stay away.

Be careful what you post. Bad reviews can result in retaliation.

If the company you target for criticism thinks you went too far, it may respond by posting nasty comments about you. It may call your home to harass you. And it may threaten to sue for libel or defamation.

I recently heard from a Toronto couple, who got into an online war of words with a contractor that escalated into the equivalent of a nuclear meltdown. The dispute was about a $400 repair job.

“We paid what we thought was a fair price and we got very poor service,” said the 2,000-word review they posted at several websites, giving the firm a rating of half a star (out of five stars).

The contractor responded by calling the review a toxic and aggressive rant, which served no purpose other than to cause damage, and saying it would litigate if the review were not removed.

The threat worked. The couple cut the review to 30 words, saying they had an unpleasant experience, felt intimidated at times and didn’t plan to use the company’s services again.

That wasn’t enough to satisfy the contractor, who posted another comment next to the revised review, saying the clients had mental health issues and wanted to get the job for free.

The online war turned into a phone war. Company representatives called and left several voicemail messages, saying they would come to their home with lawyers and the whole police division.

“I am scared and feel at my breaking point,” says the wife, who considered taking down the revised review, but decided not to give in to threats.

“This is a pretty extreme case,” says Monica Goyal, a lawyer who deals with HomeStars, a website where customers can leave reviews about companies (and where the couple’s original review was posted).

Her firm is working with HomeStars to help ordinary people understand the difference between a negative review and a defamatory review.

“A high quality negative review is one that informs other members of the community about your experience with a business,” says Goyal’s firm, Aluvion Law.

“A review that is defamatory exists mainly to express how angry or upset the reviewer feels and to damage the reputation of the business.”

The lawyers say consider five things before writing an online review:

  • Wait before you write.

Emotions run high after a bad experience. Let your mind clear and your anger abate before posting comments. Otherwise, you might say something you regret later.

  • Watch your words.

What you write online can be seen by anyone. And if you contradict yourself, writing one thing online and then denying it, this can be used against you in a court action.

  • Be honest and fair.

Don’t use malicious or hurtful statements against someone else (such as liar, crook, thief or fraudster). Don’t write anything that you can’t prove in court.

  • It’s about you, not them.

Focus on what happened, using your own perspective, and don’t use your experience to make generalizations about the company. “I was not happy with the service” is better than “they are known for ripping off their customers.”

  • Stick to the facts.

Provide concrete details that are hard to dispute: “The crew was supposed to start at 8 am, but didn’t show up until after 2 pm.” Quote specific promises that the company did not fulfill, such as cleaning up the dirt left behind at your property.

Corporate bullying does exist, says HomeStars president Brian Sharwood. He wants his content team to start flagging companies that systematically harass clients who post bad reviews.

So, here’s a warning to those who think a negative review is a substitute for going to court over a small dispute.

Make sure to write a review that is factual and fair. Angry online comments can lead to litigation, an outcome that you had hoped to avoid.

Ellen Roseman writes about personal finance and consumer issues. You can reach her at eroseman@thestar.ca or www.ellenroseman.com

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November 9, 2013

REMEMBRANCE DAY – NOVEMBER 11TH, 2013 Give those who sacrificed a moment of reflection.

Filed under: Uncategorized — oakvillehomes @ 11:06 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

One of the privileges we enjoy as Canadians is the right to free speech, something we take for granted but, was won for us by those who fought for our country and prevented those who stifle free thought from taking it from us.  My blog exists because of the sacrifices made by those before me and hopefully we can protect this privilege in the future.  Some paid the ultimate sacrifice and were denied the benefits we now cherish.  Take a moment to consider how lucky we are that we can spread the truth so easily.  Some still try to stifle the truth through lawyers and bully boys but, we as Canadians ,will continue to protect what has been earned for us.  Take a moment this November 11th to respect those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to give you what you have now.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Colonel John McCrae

October 11, 2013

Does Boss Hogg live in Oakville? Maybe Bubba knows.

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CUSTOMER SERVICE:

Some talk the talk while others walk the walk.  Some use donations and advertising to show their worth while others depend on word of mouth via quality products.

Some people will surf the web and visit forums and other sources to help determine a course of action.  Myself, I use Tripadvisor.ca before picking a hotel/motel on any trip.  You need to take all comments with a grain of salt (# bad occurrences, too high standards for what they intended to pay, etc) but, on the whole, I have found them to be very useful.

Where do you go if you want to buy a home?  A real estate office (who want to make money selling the joint), newspaper articles on housing (who make money off the advertising by builders), Tarion (builder/developer dominated agency), people on the street (who want to keep values up, especially if a speculator) or friends (which you could lose if the advice turns sour)?  Very few resources that you could fully trust.

But word of mouth and forums at least let some of the truth come out, although it too can be biased.   But, so are the surveys you read.  Seems that builders might give some kind of “extra” service to those they know will be filling out the forms.  Seems Mattamy has been accused of this practice.  Some regret taking the bonus as they find the “extra” service only extends to the time the survey was submitted.

Yes, Customer Service means more than some companies are willing to give.  I notice Mattamy has joined Twitter social media, hoping to pass on their message.  Two way street though – allows the truth to come out.

On my last posting (#600 if you are counting) I basically said that the Town of Oakville and Mattamy were an unbeatable pairing.  One gets the donations and the other gets to illegally wire houses, at least in my case.  My blog has illustrated many other things Mattamy has done in Oakville and elsewhere.

Funny how things that go around come around.  MPP Kevin Flynn was on town council when they threw me under the provincial bus and refused to pass a bylaw intended to protect homeowners from poorly built homes.  You notice that when you buy a house for $250k plus, nothing is said about quality.  They do mention MINIMUM BUILDING CODE, when asked about poor quality.  Building inspectors and builders love that phrase – “it’s to code”.  Quality is not in the code.  Even if it isn’t code, as in my case, the Town of Oakville did nothing but receive donations over the years from Mattamy.  I mentioned MPP Kevin Flynn – it is his political seat that was under the gun in the last election and the Liberals, in their wisdom, cancelled the power plants in Mississauga and Oakville to the tune of over $1 Billion (yes, you heard right, someone got $1 Billion for not doing something) to ensure he got elected..  Again Flynn looked after the “establishment” and not the taxpayer/homeowner.  NIMBYism in Oakville cost the provincial taxpayer $1 Billion plus.  Must be a new record for NIMBYism.  They were concerned about their children’s health but they didn’t give a shit about my children’s health.  But then, I live in the wrong area I guess.

In my last posting, I stated I was going to move on and focus on other matters.  Seems though, that Mattamy wanted the last word.  At the end of this blog are two comments made after I announced my decision to move on.  According to certain records, they both came from Mattamy.  Nice to see someone there reads my stuff.  If so, my regards to Peter Gilgan, loved by all (at least those who see him as a cash cow) and I hope he had a good summer in his palace in Muskoka.

Legal Beagle note:  To the best of my knowledge and based on a reliable source, the comments can be attributed to the electronic system under the control and owned by Mattamy.  If you can prove otherwise, I will certainly remove the posts and make an apology.  I know Mattamy and the Town of Oakville don’t understand A P O L O G Y (read my lips), but I am willing to do these – it’s considered part of being socially responsible.

Remember the show “Dukes of Hazzard”.  Boss Hogg ran the place and Bubba the sheriff did his bidding.  I wonder if it was written with the Town of Oakville in mind.

REMEMBER: YOU CAN ONLY COUNT ON YOURSELF TO ENSURE YOU GET WHAT YOU PAID FOR – GOOD LAWYER, GOOD REAL ESTATE AGENT AND AN INDEPENDANT PROFESSIONAL HOUSE INSPECTOR, A GOOD TEAM TO HAVE. 

The first two comments – I’m not sure if this is their Customer Relations office responding to my blog.  If so, I think informing those being shafted to not be a waste of time.  Not bitter either, as I do realize some people have actually lived in a well built Mattamy Home.  Just the rest of us have been shafted at the expense of making Peter Gilgan a billionaire.  Donations have clouded the issue that he is an accountant that looks at the bottom line and your interests are not part of that.

At the end, is another person who received the Mattamy shaft, only proving to the Mattamy poster, I’m not alone.

Comments:

Anonymous

Ugh…you’re so annoying…get over it already.

Anonymous

Like seriously, dude, you’re wasting your life with all this anger…let it go! Go out there and LIVE instead of writing these pathetic little blog posts that obviously no-one cares about. So you had a bad experience once upon a time…are you gonna let that bitter you forever?

 

Anonymous (another person)

I too was screwed by Mattamy, until I stood outside their sales office and showed pics of my defects, and called in the fire department for obvious violations. With in 24 hours I had all defects corrected. Gilgan is too big and arrogant for his own boots.

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September 30, 2013

Mattamy 1 – Homeowner 0 House inspector only way to go.

My last post featured “Cowboy Builders”, a term used in England but certainly applicable to Canada.  You’ve read about them and occasionally something is done to help the screwed homeowner.  In Ontario, Tarion has a very shaky record in helping consumers, not surprising considering the slanted emphasis in regards to builders/developers on their board of directors.  Occasionally even the courts help out – probably against a builder who hasn’t paid his “political dues”.

Shows initiated by Mike Holmes and Brian Baeulmer try to help the consumer and do educate in what to look for but alas, hampered by ???, they do not show you who is screwing who.

In the Town of Oakville, who has received very large donations from Mattamy/Peter Gilgan in the past, it is obvious that the Mayor and Council will do nothing to really protect the consumer/homebuyer.  Yes, they have a Building Department who is “legally obligated” to enforce the somewhat weak building code but, as we have seen, they are less than perfect.  According to letters I have received, they will only inspect a dwelling when told it is time by the builder – reactive and not proactive.  So much for really looking after the consumer.

And, the Town of Oakville is afraid to enact a by-law allowing homeowners to hire a house inspector to monitor the build – something they could do under their responsibility to enforce the building code.  The house inspector would inform the building inspector of any infractions.  Like community policing where the public assist the police in policing their neighbourhood.  But, they seem afraid of this.  Why?  Too many donations by the developers/builders?  Someone have pictures of someone doing something with animals?  Who knows, except, the Mayor and Council refuse to help out the consumer.  A former councillor, who went the provincial route, voted to have the Council pass on my recommendation to the Ontario government.  The Ontario government, in their wisdom, felt they could not pass such a law as “it would cost the homeowner money”.  The councilor who voted to have it taken to the province, is also involved in the provincial decision to not place the power plants in Mississauga and Oakville.  That only cost the taxpayer $500 million it seems.  But, I guess friends of the Liberals were the beneficiaries of the monies spent so, all is well in the political world.  How about it Flynn, why not get a law passed that would help a homeowner and the cost is “optional”?

It is hard to fight city hall and I recently communicated with someone having a battle with another builder, Ballantrae.  They have similar issues with the builder and government agencies.  As a screwed homeowner, you quickly find that donations work and politicians really don’t care about the average homeowner, unless there is at least a photo-op.  Maybe we can arrange some photo-ops around election time, which is coming up.

My last post was number 600.  Other than having the Mattamy bully boys after me, the Mattamy legal beagles threatening me with libel and other ridiculous things, I must admit that I haven’t really accomplished what I wanted.  A by-law protecting homeowners.

As I have stated above, donations rule the roost and local politicians really don’t give a damn about these things.  Looking good does and getting donations even better but helping screwed homeowners – that is counterproductive to milking developers for donations.

So, I have decided to take a different tack – appears the mighty blog doesn’t accomplish anything.  A more proactive protest is in order I believe.  So, this will be my last regular blog posting, although I may visit it occasionally to pass on any tid-bits that are given me by those who want the truth out there.

The Mayor and Council of the Town of Oakville obviously don’t understand the word “apology” and, neither will I when the time comes.

So, remember, no one will look after you when you buy a house except yourself, your own paid lawyer and a professional house inspector.  Remember, you too can get screwed and if you hire a house inspector to monitor the build, just helps you in court where you will find yourself at odds to prove the “truth”.  Lawyers for builders hate that word and will do everything to prevent it from being introduced.

Me, I got the Mattamy Bully Boys.

September 26, 2013

Cowboy Builders – they exist and some have big names. Right Peter?

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I’ve just returned from a very informative trip to England.  It was nice to see homes that have been around for a while – centuries to be exact.  Had a Guinness in a pub that was over 400 years old – the pub that is.  While there, I viewed a show called, “Cowboy Builders“.  Basically a show that helps people ripped off by bad builders.  Sort of like a Mike Holmes or Brian Baeumler type of show.

Major difference – they actually name the less than honest builders with pictures, company name and anything else that would identify them and help the consumer.  Brian and Mike are good at what they do and help consumers to learn what to look for but, they don’t name the bad builders.  That is up to the consumer to guess while watching the show.  I understand Mattamy has been showcased on at least one of Holmes’ shows. To be a true consumer advocate, they should name the builders who are not up to snuff.

But, it seems that the lawyers rule the roost.  Say anything and they try to send their kids through college or buy a bigger yacht on your dime.  They don’t seek the truth, just try to shut you up and help their client make more money without fear of being exposed for what they are.  Back in the day, you were apt to be persuaded to shut up with a bully boy but now, it is the threat of a lawsuit from some Bay Street lawyer.  Few people can actually afford to defend themselves in today’s court system.  Actually, Mattamy has tried both on me.

I have had correspondence with someone fighting another builder and they are having to pay quite a bit to get their story out there – a story even municipal governments don’t want printed.  Developers pay a lot of money into the political system and they want their monies worth.  Some people donate money to a good cause – without strings attached and then there are those that donate to ensure their name is emblazoned upon the edifice.  There was a large donor to the Oakville YMCA but there is nothing named after him.  He donated for the cause, not the advertising.

If I had seen a show like “Cowboy Builders” and noticed it was about a builder I was interested in, I would have second thoughts about buying.  Or, I would ensure I built in some protection.  I would be forewarned and able to make a more educated decision on what to do.

Our system is flawed.  It seems Tarion, dominated by builders/developers, has a poor reputation when it comes to protecting the consumer.  Our municipal building departments – who are charged with protecting the consumer and ensuring all facets of the (weak) building code are covered.  In Oakville, we have seen this fail.

Speaking of Oakville.  I have had communication with the Mayor and Building Department.  They have replied with nice letters that when you read between the lines, basically tell me to FO.  Yes, they quote me the scripture, according to the building code but take no responsibility for what they do.  According to them, they will act when a builder like Mattamy tells them they are ready.  What happened to a proactive enforcement program?  Personnel issues maybe?  If you are short numbers, then why not let homeowners hire house inspectors to monitor the build and report infractions to the building inspectors.  Why would you be frightened of this?  As a municipality, it would be quite legal for you to pass this bylaw.  The municipality is responsible for enforcing the building code and this would be one positive strategy to allow the municipality to complete this task.

I forgot – DONATIONS.  And don’t forget pre-election photo-ops.

I ask the Mayor of Oakville – why no apology from the Town of Oakville for putting my children at risk by allowing Mattamy to sell a house with illegal wiring?  What are you afraid of?  They can’t sue you for telling the truth.  Unless your lawyers are afraid of the truth.  A simple apology for the transgression.  Unless of course, your cash cow has told you that there will be no more money if you do it.  Get a back bone and stand up to the developer/builder and put it on the table.

Something honest people do.

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August 27, 2013

Hard to argue on Twitter -But it doesn’t make Town of Oakville or Mattamy any less guilty.

alphainventions

Yesterday, I had a very interesting exchange on Twitter.  I assume the person did not agree with my thoughts on the Town of Oakville and their response to my issue.  As you know, my blog is to bring forward issues within the building industry.  I use Mattamy Homes as an example as I can prove all the points.  Those which were inflicted upon myself and my family and, researched incidents of less than acceptable behavior – again, all documented.  It seems that my case is old history and should be forgotten.  Forgotten by whom?

Well, the Town of Oakville has certainly forgotten they had an obligation to fully investigate the matter and do something worthwhile about it, instead of moving it off to the province, knowing full well nothing would be done.  Even one of the councilors who voted to do so and became an MPP, did nothing at that level.  Right Mr. Flynn?

My purpose is not to gratuitously embarrass the Town of Oakville, its former mayor nor in fact, MR. Peter Gilgan of Mattamy Homes.  No, my blog is to show how people have profited on the backs of others who suffered something due to their actions.  In fact, I calculate that Mattamy Homes saved more than $100,000 with the illegal sale of the home to me.  Illegal sale? Yes, it was wired illegally, something the Town of Oakville allowed and thus the house was sold, although a Town of Oakville building director stated he would not allow the home to have an occupation permit based on what happened.

So, why do I continue?  I think it is paramount that new home buyers be aware of the issues they are facing so that they can put together a team to assist them.

A knowledgeable real estate lawyer, an honest real estate agent and a house inspector to monitor their investment while it is being built.  Back in the day, we viewed a house we were going to buy.  Now, you view artist conceptions and floor plans (which can be changed by the builder on a whim) and maybe a well-built model home.

So, back to my tweets.  Twitter allows the truth to come out and that is why I inform the public via Twitter of my case and cases like it.  I also use it to pass on useful links and the tweets of others.  Some don’t like the truth though.  It hurts their reputation – a reputation built on costly advertising and donations.  It is hard to bring out the truth when politicians and others receive large donations.  Hard for them to actually look behind the donations and see if the wealth was built on shortcuts, ripping off people and basically being a person not worthy of the cult like adoration put forward in ads, articles and whatever.

I cannot prove my case on Twitter.  140 characters is way too short.  Although Andre Marin, the Ontario Ombudsman, recently libeled a Durham Regional police officer through Twitter.  All it took was a 140 character Tweet and a news release and a man’s life and career was jeopardized.  Turns out someone else used his name to call Marin names on Twitter.  How can we trust an investigation by the Ombudsman when they make a simple mistake such as this.

This is why I am very careful to check the facts and make sure what I say is the truth.  I respect the Town of Oakville and Peter Gilgan/Mattamy Homes enough to ensure I only print the truth.  A truth they made, not me and none is fabricated.  To the person tweeting me, the truth is already on record with the Town of Oakville in council minutes and the agendas of various committee meetings.

Yes, it may be old but, if we all gave up on old atrocities, the people who did it would live on without fear or repercussions.  And, all it would have taken from the Town of Oakville was a simple apology, instead of hiding behind their lawyer’s skirts.

Interesting aside – I as a taxpayer, pay for my portion of Oakville town expenses, including legal fees.  I in fact am paying the Town of Oakville lawyer to shaft me and not look after my interests but the interests of those who did wrong. At my next meeting, I’ll bring the KY.

Twitter is a new social media that is a double-edged sword.  You have a responsibility to ensure that only the truth is put out there.  Otherwise, the system will collapse and you will end up with the issues I have had with the Town of Oakville over the years.  Some people don’t like the truth – it hurts their bottom line and power moves.  Twitter can keep them honest.

P.S.  I am still awaiting a response re the monitoring of construction north of Dundas Street West to ensure quality control on the building code standards (little that they are)

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August 22, 2013

Would Peter Gilgan/Mattamy use Facebook to listen to complaints? Tarion has a page.

COMMUNICATION.  This is imperative in a marriage, any kind of relationship and just anytime you wish to interact with someone else.  Many a person has found themselves on the divorce end of the stick due to a “failure to communicate”.  Some have fine-tuned the art of communicating with no substance – they can talk the talk but not walk the walk.  Just read some builder’s ads.  They offer all sorts of things but, in the end, produce little of the world they told you about.

Do you notice that Mattamy communicates a lot of things but never “Quality“.  They have ruled the print world in advertising in Toronto for quite some time – two page ads in the Saturday Toronto Star.  Recently, Mattamy has decided to get involved in “Twitter” to pass on the word.  I hope they realize it is a two way street.  As they said – “The truth is out there”, you just have to get it there.

I recently have been communicating with a like soul who has received the rough end of the stick from Ballantry Homes, a battle involving lawyers, Tarion and other interested parties.  I will not go into the details except to say – it has been  a long hard battle they have been fighting.

We both agree on Tarion – the voice of the construction trade.  Funny how newspapers like the Toronto Star go against the police investigating themselves but have no issue with Tarion being controlled by the construction industry but investigating complaints brought forward by shafted homebuyers.

As I said, COMMUNICATION is an important aspect of fixing things.  While working out the issues with Ballantry Homes and Tarion, they have found out that FACEBOOK has their own page and you can comment on that page and give advice and support to those utilizing this format.  Myself, I am a Twitter kind of guy but glad that there is an avenue of COMMUNICATION available to homeowners in expressing their concerns.  Now, there is no guarantee that Tarion will even consider the comments but, at least you have a chance to share your experiences with others who FACEBOOK.

I suggest you visit this page, if you are a FACEBOOKER,  and make known your concerns.  Reading about the troubles of others can prepare you for what you might experience or, you can give advice or support to those already suffering the failure of the system.

Can’t hurt.

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