Oakville Homes

October 3, 2011

Awards and Advertising – fluff in the wind really.

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In the Saturday Star, there was the usual 2 page Mattamy Homes spread.  This one was titled: “The Best Homeowners In Ontario Live in Mattamy Homes”.  Makes one feel warm and fuzzy.  Then, they go on about being honoured with “Home Builder of the Year” by the Ontario Home Builder’s Association.  They mention it is the 3rd time for this award but I see no mention of the J.D. Powers and Associates awards they always flogged.  But then, there was some controversy over the gathering of statistics for this award.  It kind of proved that getting an award doesn’t necessarily show the true picture.

Look at Conrad Black – convicted and still holding the Order of Canada.

They also mention the BILD awards, another local and less prestigious award when compared to the top dog – J.D. Powers and Associates.  Kind of like winning a ribbon at the Pee Wee event compared to the Stanley Cup.  Nice but just doesn’t cut it.

I got a kick out of the comment that it “is an award that is based on comments from CURRENT homeowners”.  With the complaints listed here and other forums in the past, I guess they finally found someone to give them a good tick mark on the survey.  Or, are they admitting they didn’t really build them that great in the past?

So, no matter who the builder is – and one wonders why no one else wins the awards, are they that bad consistently, the awards don’t tell the whole story.  That is why you need a home inspector to look after the largest investment you will ever make.

The awards are dependant on a select few who were polled.  And, if the builder is aware of who is being polled, guess who will get the good service.  The rest of you can pound salt as they say.  A search of the internet always seems to focus on one builder in terms of problems, breaking the law, etc.  Guess Who?

If I was buying a Mattamy Home, I would point out all their awards and ask them if they minded you having a house inspector monitor the build.

It is allowed in a commercial build, so why not a residential?  They may not legislate it as a right but, they haven’t said you can’t do it.  Only a builder with something to hide would say no I would think.

As long as you hire a professional home inspector, why would an award-winning builder mind.  Just don’t pick one the real estate or builder recommended. 🙂

Just offer to give them a good tick on the survey if they let you – you might be surprised at the service you might get.

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* The above is intended to show the reader examples of how to obtain a house inspector, no matter which builder you buy from. Remember, awards and advertising are designed to make you buy, not ensure you quality. We’ve shown that awards are not the standard on which to base your decision on. My use of my experiences are not made to embarass Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan but, are used because they are based on fact and show the larger picture that a house inspector is a requirement when buying a house, new or old from any builder. My experience only shows that in fact it can happen and is a fact of life. Your experiences with Mattamy may have differed.

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July 12, 2011

BILD win may increase your tax bill regarding infrastructure costs.

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Spent the last week with visiting family and I must admit it has been a good time.  Fortunately the brother-in-law likes to stay busy and I had some chores for him to help me out with.  While they were here, I saw an announcement by BILD regarding a court decision to roll-back the development charges in Orangeville.  They viewed it as a VICTORY.  Seems they are cheering this winning streak in other jurisdictions.  For more, visit their blog at this link.

They show a picture of a family celebrating this fact.

Happy Family - courtesy of BILD

The house they are in front of looks like it has been around for a while so I doubt this is a family moving into a soon to be finished house but are a family in an established house.  Therefore, I wonder why they are celebrating this BILD win.  I mean, don’t they understand the fact that with BILD winning, developers like Mattamy won’t have to pay as much to build their new developments and that the existing taxpayer base will need to cough up more money to pay for infrastructure costs created by the new developments?  When the development charges were fought in Halton, Mattamy led the way by busing in loads of workers so as to pressure the elected officials to reduce the development costs and allow the developers/builders to increase their profits while also increasing the taxes necessary to accommodate the new growth and increased demands on infrastructure.

“Nothing happens by accident. These wins were earned by BILD – your Association, your advocate, your VOICE!” 

Yes the VOICE of the builder/developer but not the voice of the taxpayer.  Peter Gilgan did not become a billionaire by paying what some would consider fair development charges.  Look at the water pipe to Milton.  Developers did not pay for that.  No, the Oakville/Burlington tax payer paid the majority of the bill and are still paying.  Developers reaped the benefit of this water pipe to Milton.

Well, the “Happy Family” might be cheering for the BILD victory now but wait till they get their tax bill.

At least we know who to blame for the increased taxes – BILD.

If the builders/developers don’t like paying their share of development charges what is their next complaint?  Will BILD lobby to have the building code reduced to a mere shell of it’s now somewhat useless level?

Who will win then?

P.S.  Someone left a comment on my February 21st blog.  They accuse me of being a “jerk off” and an “ex-employee of Mattamy”.  Regarding the first, I’ll leave that one to those who know me but, in terms of the second, I must state that at no time have I been in the employ of Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan. My experience has solely been the result of buying a home from them that had illegal issues but the sale was still allowed to continue, even with the assistance of the Town of Oakville.  I normally don’t associate with those involved in committing illegal acts, including environmental crimes.

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* The above is intended to show the reader examples of how to obtain a house inspector, no matter which builder you buy from. Remember, awards and advertising are designed to make you buy, not ensure you quality. We’ve shown that awards are not the standard on which to base your decision on. My use of my experiences are not made to embarass Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan but, are used because they are based on fact and show the larger picture that a house inspector is a requirement when buying a house, new or old from any builder. My experience only shows that in fact it can happen and is a fact of life. Your experiences with Mattamy may have differed.

July 3, 2011

“One Day That Defines Us.” – Mattamy style

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That “One Day That Defines Us.” was the main point on the two page centre spread Mattamy ad in the Toronto Star.  Yes, they were talking about Canada Day – July 1st.  And, they even wish everyone a Happy Canada Day on behalf of the 50,000 Canadian Mattamy homeowners.

I doubt they included me in that figure or a bunch of others.

See, the “One Day That Defines Us.” was actually the closing day and PDI day some of us have had with Mattamy.  For me, it was all on one day.  Nice to put the bad news all together I guess.  This really defined what kind of company Mattamy really was in my books.  A company that donates money to places like the Town of Oakville and in return – nothing is done about some of the illegal acts they commit.

Take my illegal wiring for instance – please.  In order to sell the house they illegally wired the furnace to the house next door – that defined to me what kind of company Mattamy really was.  In Ottawa, they did illegal terra forming.  Bracebridge – built homes with flooding basements.  Cambridge – destroyed a wetland.

Yes, all these have “defined” the moment for me and others.

And, this is a company that got Peter Gilgan “Entrepreneur of the Year“, awarded by Ernst and Young.  One wonders just what kind of values some organizations value when they honour those who have done what I have described above.  Based on this, Al Capone should have received this award.  Even BILD gives out awards for quality when in fact we have a plethora of issues in terms of Mattamy quality.  Based on what I see with Mattamy quality, this must mean the other builders are REALLY BAD…..

Speaking of which.

Went to a party recently where most of the party goers were in fact Mattamy home owners.  Was not pretty.  Seems I’m not the only one who has received the sharp end of the Mattamy shaft.  Just the most vocal.  Sharing Mattamy horror stories was not conducive to the party mood.  I’m just glad I wasn’t the one who started the conversation.  They too find the Town of Oakville Building Department somewhat lax in dealing with Mattamy.

Oh well.  Hope you had a good Canada Day.

My good memories are certainly not defined by my Mattamy experience.

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* The above is intended to show the reader examples of how to obtain a house inspector, no matter which builder you buy from. Remember, awards and advertising are designed to make you buy, not ensure you quality. We’ve shown that awards are not the standard on which to base your decision on. My use of my experiences are not made to embarass Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan but, are used because they are based on fact and show the larger picture that a house inspector is a requirement when buying a house, new or old from any builder. My experience only shows that in fact it can happen and is a fact of life. Your experiences with Mattamy may have differed.

May 26, 2011

Peter Gilgan and Mattamy Homes – are they an Indian Giver? **

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Like a spoiled rich child who doesn’t get his way at the local ball game, Peter Gilgan and Mattamy Homes want to take the proverbial ball home in another dispute with the Town of Bracebridge.  Remember the debacle with the flooding basements and the water swept roads where Bracebridge decided to hold back the security deposit to ensure the Mattamy development wasn’t washed away in the spring flood and Mattamy whined about that.  Well, seems big and powerful Mattamy wants to flex its muscle against the Town of Bracebridge again.

As reported in the Cottage Country Now news :

The previous week, the town’s development services committee agreed to allow 80 new homes to be added to the subdivision, but only on the condition that Mattamy performs a study to determine the effect of the new homes on local traffic.

Now, what is wrong with this picture.

Mattamy Homes has a development authorized to proceed and then they come back and ask for another 80 units to be added to the development.  Any urban planner would tell you that this would have an impact on traffic and other aspects of the development.  Any prudent politician, urban planner or, just average citizen, would want to know what the impact will be.  Will there be increased infrastructure costs now and in the future; will pedestrian or automobile safety be negatively impacted upon; will children’s lives be put at risk due to the altered and increased traffic patterns?  Who knows unless some knowledgeable people study this impact.  And, why should the taxpayer pay for this study – Mattamy wants the extra homes.

Now, what is the problem?

As most people know, a developer is required to donate a portion of land to the community.  Mattamy says they have donated more than the required amount and refer to trails etc.  Hey, they are donating land they can’t build on anyways, so what’s the problem?  Yes, they will build the trails but guess who will maintain them.  The taxpayer of course so, this gift isn’t as great as it looks.  It’s the gift that keeps giving.

And, to appear as the benevolent developer who looks after the community and wins awards for it, they donate $60,000 towards a children’s playground.  Kind of makes you all warm and fuzzy.  Me, they try to kill my children with illegal wiring but in Bracebridge they build a park for them.

Oh, wait a minute – the children aren’t really that high in their plans it seems.  Read this comment from planner Greg Corbett – mouthpiece for Mattamy.

“If we have to go ahead with the study we will no longer be able to give $60,000 for the playground development. We believe the town has no authority to ask for it,” said Corbett. “The money for that study has to come from somewhere and there’s only so much to go around.”

So, this gift given to the Town of Bracebridge to look after the community and the children is really only a bargaining chip.  Most people would have appreciated this gift and maybe give their Mattamy built homes a plus in a BILD or J.D. Power and Associates survey but now they find out that it isn’t really a true gift.

I think the average person would agree that since Mattamy wants to upgrade their authorized number of homes, they should pay the freight to have it studied.  They made a deal on the original size, a deal that made them look good.  Some might even think they spiced up the offer to ensure they got authorized, considering how they tried to shaft Bracebridge over the flooding issue.

Mayor Don Coates said the parkland funding has been in place since the subdivision began.

“Mattamy agreed to that during the site plan stage . . . so from a legal perspective I don’t think they can get out of it,” he said. “It was a negotiating tactic on their part.”

Coates said council feels the increase in homes is significant enough to warrant another traffic study.

“We’re happy that Mattamy can bring more families into town, but it does cause some issues regarding traffic,” he said. “The only way to be fair to everyone is to have the study and get some proper answers.”

Now, here is a Mayor that is looking after the taxpayer and kudos to him.  Unlike old skinflint Mattamy who uses children’s safety and happiness as a bargaining chip.  Mattamy’s true colours are coming out on this one.  Nice to see the Town of Bracebridge stand up to Mattamy’s bullying, unlike how the Town of Oakville responded.

Seems to me this mayor has balls, unlike the Oakville mayor who investigated my complaint.

And to think, Mattamy got a BILD award.

** For those into being extremist politically correct in their thinking, I am using the name “Indian Giver” in the traditional North American First Nation context.  First Nation people would give something to someone and expect something in return.  They lived a barter system.  If you had nothing to give in return, you returned the item.  It was a form of trading with the intent that it is returned.  We don’t normally do business in that manner in our culture.  Neither right or wrong, there is a certain expectation in our culture that a gift is a gift.  It begs the question – under what cultural business practices does Mattamy operate?

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* The above is intended to show the reader examples of how to obtain a house inspector, no matter which builder you buy from. Remember, awards and advertising are designed to make you buy, not ensure you quality. We’ve shown that awards are not the standard on which to base your decision on. My use of my experiences are not made to embarass Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan but, are used because they are based on fact and show the larger picture that a house inspector is a requirment when buying a house, new or old from any builder. My experience only shows that in fact it can happen and is a fact of life. Your experiences with Mattamy may have differed but do not preclude what happened to me from happening again. Beware.

May 23, 2011

“Entrepreneur of the Year award – Is Peter Gilgan working this up?

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Peter Gilgan, founder and CEO of Mattamy Homes and, all round good guy, appears to be ramping up for the “World Entrepreneur of the Year” award given by Ernst and Young.  Something he came close to obtaining last time around, with his win of Entrepreneur of the Year award for Canada.  I mean, he’s made the big donation of $10 million to the Oakville Hospital fund and scored the naming of a wing for himself to ensure public exposure.  His company recently won two awards from BILD, despite issues in quality.  And, to enhance his rep, Peter gave a speech to the Empire Club of Canada at the Royal York Hotel on May 12th on “Building a healthy society”.  I read a blurb informing us of this prestigious event where they mentioned his company winning the J.D. Power and Associates awards (past tense now since his quality control got found out); winning the 2007 Entrepreneur of the Year and Home Builder of the Year awards; his being elected a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (hmmm, no builder here); and, his 2010 award for Outstanding Business Leader of the year from Laurier’s School of Business and Economics (did they know about selling a house with illegal wiring?).  They also discuss his philanthropy (which, I must admit, is large) and, of course, the old Oakville Hospital donation.  All meant to show he is a great guy and deserving of the 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

I found the title of his speech ironic though – “Building a healthy society”.  If you strip away all the publicized stuff he has done you find the other bits and pieces which I would say do not contribute to a healthy society.  Those things which were done maybe to make more money and thus give him the funds to enhance his rep for the ultimate of awards – “World Entrepreneur of the Year”.  Something I am sure he covets.

Do you build a healthy society by putting children’s lives at risk by ensuring the sale of a home by putting in illegal wiring?  Maybe in the construction world?  In Bracebridge, is it considered healthy to have flooding streets and basements because a developer didn’t do it right in the first place?  And what about illegal terra-forming where you just put in berms to control rivers without taking into consideration your neighbours or local laws?  Something for which there is a conviction.  Is this “building a healthy society”?

And, what about doing construction on land that was fertilized with human waste?  Is that “building a healthy society”?

And, I could mention the plethora of quality control issues Mattamy has had over the years.  Issues that Mattamy hides by controlling access by house inspectors to what will eventually be YOUR home.  Is that “building a healthy society” where you restrict new homeowners from having input towards the quality of their home.  Not a healthy environment in my book.

Peter is building up his rep with the media through very open methods that are very visual and the press go for it like lap dogs. They don’t seem to be worried about the illegal acts, the poor quality etc but feel that the donations etc more than make up for any transgressions.  I would have thought “Entrepreneur of the Year” would have some values that society respects.  Buying of awards, giving upgrades to those who give good survey’s, environmental damage etc don’t seem to be values I would promote.  So, Ernst and Young – it seems your values are different from most other people if you reward people who break the law to sell a home.

But then, you’re accountants and I guess you all stick together.

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* The above is intended to show the reader examples of how to obtain a house inspector, no matter which builder you buy from. Remember, awards and advertising are designed to make you buy, not ensure you quality. We’ve shown that awards are not the standard on which to base your decision on. My use of my experiences are not made to embarass Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan but, are used because they are based on fact and show the larger picture that a house inspector is a requirment when buying a house, new or old from any builder. My experience only shows that in fact it can happen and is a fact of life. Your experiences with Mattamy may have differed but do not preclude what happened to me from happening again. Beware.

May 17, 2011

Self Serving Press Releases – Mattamy speciality

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Awhile back, the Oakville Beaver must have had a slow news day and, for filler, they used an article titled: “Mattamy receives kudos for building homes and communities“.

This was a report on the BILD awards Mattamy recently scored and the article spoke on some of the reasons for the win.  They also mentioned the donations Peter Gilgan made in 2010 to enhance his rep.  Now, with the press releases by BILD and Mattamy, this can be considered news I guess and we all like to hear “good news” stories instead of the usual death and destruction we are continually bombarded with.  But, my attention was drawn to this “press release propaganda” by the fact that I notice that not much bad news about Mattamy gets printed by our local rag.

I would have thought it newsworthy when Mattamy was forced to stop construction in Milton when they tried to build on toxic land.  Or, news when they were convicted of tampering with our environment in Ottawa with the illegal berms.  Yes, it was reported eventually in a Ottawa paper, about a month after it was reported in my blog.  Little old and stale by that time.  I would have thought it news if my complaint made it to Oakville Town Hall.

Kind of a Goliath and David story.

I know the press were there but I guess a well-known builder doing illegal electrical work and putting children’s lives at risk isn’t newsworthy enough for our local investigative reporters.  Not like our recent scandal with the Liberal party getting donations from our Town Council – or so says the complaint put forth by MP Terrence Young.  It certainly made the news but certainly not life threatening.  Actually for some, I doubt they care and those that do, I just wonder if they support Mattamy and their illegal acts?

Yes, when it comes to the press, I find they really don’t report all the news – just that which doesn’t affect their advertising dollars.  I guess the Beaver is looking for some loose cash from Mattamy for some advertising revenue.

Me, I think of it as blood money.

In the media, our jobs should be to get the information out there for the greater good of everybody – let’s get the problem fixed as quickly as possible so fewer people are impacted by it.

Joe Duarte

“Passing Lane”

TorontoSun

February 27, 2011

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* The above is intended to show the reader examples of how to obtain a house inspector, no matter which builder you buy from. Remember, awards and advertising are designed to make you buy, not ensure you quality. We’ve shown that awards are not the standard on which to base your decision on. My use of my experiences are not made to embarass Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan but, are used because they are based on fact and show the larger picture that a house inspector is a requirment when buying a house, new or old from any builder. My experience only shows that in fact it can happen and is a fact of life. Your experiences with Mattamy may have differed but do not preclude what happened to me from happening again. Beware.

May 2, 2011

I assume “Ethics” not criteria for BILD GTA awards?

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Awards.

Kind of thing you start getting as a kid, especially those who get involved in sports.  You gain a sense of achievement from the awards and people see them as a telltale of just what kind of person you are.  We grow up accepting awards at face value and credit the receiver without question.  They have a symbol of success in their hand.  And, for the most part, we are glad for them and, maybe, sometimes jealous if we lost.

Before we go to a show, buy a car or try a new product, we always look at reviews, ask others and take into account presented awards.  We put value on them.  Talk to some Mattamy homebuyers and they will tell you that they bought their Mattamy home because of the awards.  Must be good if they are getting the top awards.  The others must be less than perfect in their construction.

For those winning awards, you expect they put a lot of effort into winning them.  We know our Olympians strive for perfection and put a lot of work into building their skill sets.  Those striving for building awards, you’d think they’d do the same.  Those who lost – well, not so much effort.

Mattamy used to be top dog with the J.D. Power and Associates awards, even though there were a lot of complaints on unsatisfactory customer service and construction quality.  But, they got the awards.  Well, according to some forums, they got the awards because they front-loaded the results by ensuring those who filled out the surveys got the extra service.  The issues in Ottawa and Bracebridge became very pubic and it was kind of hard for old J.D. Power to continue to stroke Mattamy’s ego with another award.  Dropped them to the bottom based on recent history.  One finds it hard to believe that a company that believes in doing illegal environmental work (Ottawa and Halton) and illegal (code) wiring can still continue to win the awards.

At the recent BILD GTA awards gala they won the coveted ” Home Builder of the Year”.  Now, I have chronicled the trials and tribulations of Mattamy over the past few years and one must wonder just how they accomplished this award based on their history.  If I was one of the losers, I’d consider quitting BILD and forming my own organization where ETHICS is considered a positive feature for awards.  If doing illegal environmental work is considered ethical in the building industry, then we have a real problem.

I’m sure Mattamy is going to donate some more money somewhere and perk up their reputation by flashing another award to some unsuspecting soul trying to buy a house and invest in the largest thing in their life.  I know it will be very visible in the two page spread this Saturday in the Toronto Star.

For those who lost, I’m sorry as I know there are some good hardworking builders out there that do put out a good product.  Too bad questionable quality, questionable ethics, questionable code observance are considered good traits by those giving out awards.  Please don’t follow the Mattamy dream – some of us would like a builder to trust and grow with.

On another note, no sooner do we hear the bad news from the April 29th BILD awards, we are going into our 4th election in 7 years.  To top off this momentous event, on the eve of the election, the press get sideswiped with the news that Osama Bin Laden has bit the dust.  Interesting few days.

If you are going to buy a home based on awards, I strongly suggest you HIRE A HOUSE INSPECTOR to make sure the builder is worthy of such award.  It’s YOUR home and YOUR investment that he will be protecting.  The awards don’t do that – it’s been proven.

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April 30, 2011

Is Mattamy Innocent? – gets BILD GTA awards anyways.

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I was going to showcase last nights BILD GTA Awards event on this blog originally.  It was a really nice event, attended by the cream of the residential construction industry and, the sumptuous meal and delightful entertainment kept the party going.  The Awards presentation was quick – =hint to Academy Awards organizers and, all seemed to enjoy the event.  During the event though, Sun Tv made a surprise announcement about Jack Layton getting a rub and tub a number of years ago in a massage parlour.  Investigated but released without charges.  Seems Olivia Chow knew of the incident, so wasn’t overly surprised when it surfaced I guess.  Lots of Twittering about it but, what I want to comment on is one Tweet that kind of sums up about Mattamy and their activities.  Which seem to be lost on most people in regards to last nights awards.  More on that later.

One Tweet stated the following:  ” In this country – no charges = innocent. Period. That is fundamental. #elxn41

Yes, something a lot of people think but, those who deal with this issue daily know it is not true.

Was Mattamy charged with illegal wiring in my house?  No.  Why?  You’d have to ask Ann Mulvale and the Town of Oakville Building Department.  An investigation was done but the report never got past Mulvale. Considering I was the victim, I never saw the report and was informally told, I’d never see it.  Was Mattamy innocent?

Was Mattamy charged with construction on lands fertilized with human waste?  They were observed by a citizen ( I know them, not hearsay) who reported it to the authorities.  Investigated and construction ordered to stop.  Workers sent for testing.  Was Mattamy charged?  No?  Innocent of doing illegal construction?  I’d say yes but I guess not being charged means they are innocent, even though observed breaking the law and ordered to stop.  How do you order someone to stop if they are innocent?

I’ve received information from several sources that state that Mattamy gets a kickback from sub-contractors.  Never been charged, although I notice in Gravenhurst a CEO was fired for letting some Toronto construction firm fudge the books.  Is demanding kickbacks illegal?  Maybe when you are the homebuyer paying for a house and finding out that someone is lining their pocket with your money.  Would an investigation be worthwhile here?

I could bring out a few other issues but, I really don’t want to embarrass certain people who have been forthright with me.

But, the crux of the matter is, NOT BEING CHARGED DOES NOT MAKE ONE INNOCENT.  Otherwise, I’d have seen the report stating why he wasn’t charged, if it was a proper report.  Why hide something when someone is innocent?

Seems that J.D. Power and Associates has stopped  giving Mattamy awards based on their history.  Also, maybe because people have come forward and told them that they gave bonus marks due to free upgrades etc.  Would one call this process – INNOCENT?

So, to the person who Tweeted me on innocence.  It would be nice if it was true but, it seems that the facts don’t support the wishful thinking.

Next:  BILD GTA awards – nice event but, a slap in the face to those builders who don’t seem to have the issues that Mattamy does and didn’t win.  I’d reconsider my memberhip with BILD GTA.

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April 17, 2011

Does Mattamy actually fit criteria for “Builder of the Year” award BILD?

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We recently finished watching a BBC series called “Downton Abbey” – an English show similar to the old “Upstairs, Downstairs” series.  One character, played by the venerable Maggie Smith was “Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham”.  Seems that due to her influence and power, she would win the annual “rose competition”.  Finally, she realized one year that someone else should win it – someone who actually earned the award.

This kind of reminded me of the upcoming “BILD GTA” awards.  The similarity was brought to my attention by Stephen Dupuis in his Homes-Extra column (Toronto Sun – April 15-17, 20011) when he stated: “….., the finalist list for Home Builder of the Year, which is all about quality and customer service……”.

The finalists are: Great Gulf Homes, Mattamy Homes, Monarch Corporation, Rosehaven Homes and Tridel. 

Now, I haven’t heard much negativity about most of these but, we all know the type of incidents that Mattamy has been involved in.  Without listing them, I would think being in the same list as Mattamy somewhat diminishes the objectivity and honourability of this award.  I think Milton is in the GTA.

If the “Builder of the Year” award is all about quality and customer service, with Mattamy’s history, how can one really think that the winner of this award would attract buyers based on the award?  You might begin to think that those qualities that brought Mattamy to BILD’s attention were shared by all who were nominated.  Based on this, I might have second thoughts about buying from the other nominees or, at least put into effect, steps to protect myself if I considered buying from them.  (good real estate lawyers, house inspectors, etc)  As a builder, I would be concerned I was placed in the same list.  Kind of like Gandhi being put in a list of compassionate leaders with Hitler, Stalin and Gaddafi.

If BILD thinks that poor quality, illegal (code) wiring, flooding basements and, selling without a permit are all laudable traits that should be awarded, then I think they should change the published criteria for nomination.  J.D. Power and Associates saw the error of their ways in continually giving awards to Mattamy, awards that were possibly tainted with free upgrades and extra service to those receiving the surveys.  All facts from various sources.

So, we shall see if BILD falls to the magic of Mattamy or, actually do give the reward to someone who does not follow a path of not always looking after the buyer.  

The proof is in the pudding as they say. 

Just ask Peter.

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April 13, 2011

BILD Code of Ethics – empty promises? Mattamy knows the answer.

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BILD – GTA are having their 2011 BILD awards coming u,p with the award winners being announced April 29th, 2011.  It will be interesting to see who gets the awards and for what.  Since blowing the J.D. Power and Associates awards (Ottawa especially),  I guess Mattamy needs this boost to attract those who actually believe the awards mean something in terms of finished product. 

Mattamy has been nominated for, can you believe this, HOME BUILDER OF THE YEAR, along with noted builders Great Gulf HomesMonarch Corporation, Rosehaven Homes and Tridel.  I haven’t heard much negativism about the nominees except of course, Mattamy.  Must be the dark horse.

If you look at the BILD-GTa Code of Ethics, one wonders just how Mattamy got nominated.

  • comply with applicable building codes of Canada as a minimum standard for construction and shall work toward its improvement in the interests of structural sufficiency, safety, and health.
  •  Well, I think we can safely say that Mattamy does comply with the Minimum Standard criteria but, the safety and health?  Unless of course illegal (code) wiring isn’t considered unsafe and building on toxic land isn’t unhealthy.  I guess the BILD idea of safety and health is different than a home buyer.

  • plan their projects to conform to the principles of good community planning and support for the environment.
  • Well, in Kanata Fairwinds, Mattamy was selling homes prior to receiving final permission from the City of Ottawa and eventually brushed off the homebuyers and told them to take a walk (paraphrased here).  And the building of illegal berms, for which they got convicted, in the Ottawa area certainly shows “support for the environment”.  But then BILD-GTA is concerned about the GTA -let the Ottawa folks eat cake and enjoy the flooding.

  • deal justly with their employees, subcontractors, and suppliers of all goods and services.
  • Well, you’ve read right here from those who have worked with Mattamy out west as suppliers and contractors – less than desirable and, from those I’ve spoken to in the trades – not positive.

  • deal honestly and fairly with their customers and stand behind the quality of their work and service commitments.
  • If you’ve read my blog, do I really need to comment on this one.  Even their “repairs” after a PDI leave a lot to be desired in some cases.  Some of us have gag orders so we really can’t comment.  I guess doing some illegal (code) wiring in order to close a sale is “dealing honestly and fairly with their customers” to BILD-GTA.  For those who suffered the Ottawa shenanigans, I guess they felt they were treated fairly.  🙂

    I  could go on with the rest of the Code of Ethics but I do have space & time  limitations and I think you get the point.   Mattamy has in the past been naughty with some issues, enough issues that one would wonder if they have in fact changed their spots or, just put more money in places to ensure no problems.

    I mean, they certainly haven’t followed this part of the Code of Ethics.

  • avoid all conduct or practice detrimental to the land development and building industry, to the Association, to the good name or reputation of any of its members, or its customers.
  • Certainly the Ottawa issue would fall under this and the fact they wanted their security deposit back in Bracebridge in regards to the flooding prior to their work being tested certainly does not give the industry a good name.  Trying to flee town before the sh*t hits the fan this spring, so to speak.

    So, one wonders just how Mattamy continues to be nominated for awards when they don’t seem to follow the Code of Ethics of the award presenter.  I won’t go into the Milton issues but, they are in the GTA so, how did Mattamy get nominated? 

    Let us know Mr. Gilgan.

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