Oakville Homes

January 12, 2009

“To me, it’s ethically a conflict of interest.” – Ajax mayor, Steve Parish

The headlines on the front page of the Toronto Star screamed, “Corporate cash floods 905-area campaigns”. Little late and old news but, it is nice to see some figures on this question of ethics in an article by Iain Marlow.

A study done by a York University political scientist feels that the enormous amount of cash going to political candidates “erodes the concept of democratic representation”. Associate Professor Robert MacDermid also noted that in the 905 area election winners got 54.3 percent of their funding from developers while the losers only got 35 percent. Interesting to note that the figures for Toronto were 12% and 4% respectively.

Also, municipal rules allow incumbents – who usually can raise money easier than newcomers, to save the surplus for other years.

Now, how does that affect you the homebuyer? You certainly want development to happen (at least until you move in) and you want a wide range of selection at competitive prices (you’ll notice in some areas Mattamy is dropping their prices $40K – too bad for those who bought a month or so ago, you just lost $40K). But, if you have a problem, who do you turn to? How do you know who received the most money from the developers? And don’t forget, the municipal inspectors  (they approve what the builder does in your home )work for the politicians and receive guidance from them. Is this guidance somewhat more focused on helping a developer and not the citizen in trouble? In my case, Mayor Ann Mulvale, who was actively engaged in getting funding from Mattamy Homes allowed my complaint to be pushed into bureaucratic oblivion. Nothing, not even an apology for allowing Mattamy Homes to proceed with an unethical sale based on illegal wiring that put my family at risk.

Next time you see a smiling politician receiving a donation from a smiling developer, just wonder whose side the politician is on.

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And, for the record, I don’t know if Mayor Burton has received money for his campaign from Mattamy Homes.  Since he went against Mayor Mulvale, I doubt it but, he has received donations on the Town of Oakville’s behalf from Mattamy Homes though.  And the Town of Milton – Mattamy Homes donates free bus service to that locale. Mattamy Homes is also actively engaged in development in both areas. Are the donations to assist the community or, give Mattamy Homes a kinder face before council when decisions are made? Who knows, except those accepting the donations.  And, for some reason, I really don’t see a lot of donations by other builders. Maybe they don’t need as much help from the municipalities.

In the Toronto Star article Ajax mayor, Steve Parish, states it all in regards to donations to politicians (and I say, this can be extended to those donations to the community that make the politicians look good as well):

“In the municipal business, especially in growth municipalities like in the 905, what we do is we consider and approve rezoning and official plan amendments and change land from wild land into developed land,” Parish says. “To me, it’s ethically a conflict of interest.”

Now, based on this, don’t you think a house inspector who will work on your behalf be a good idea, no matter who the builder was?  Remember, he/she is probably the only person who will really work on your behalf when it comes to the quality of the house for a set fee.  Unless of course, you start making donations.

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1 Comment »

  1. Kudos to you for being so upfront and spitting the truth .Keep it up

    Comment by tom sachdeva — January 13, 2009 @ 12:45 am | Reply


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