In the pursuit of reducing red tape and speeding up development, the Provincial Government has recently proposed changes to how the Building Code is enforced in Ontario.
Part of a discussion paper circulated by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, a central change would create a new ‘Certified Professionals Program’ allowing developers to hire private architects and engineers to perform inspections currently carried out by City of Toronto’s Building department.
John, along with the majority of Council, was immediately alarmed by this proposal. Having critical safety inspections done by private contractors employed by the builders creates a potentially serious conflict of interest. Worse is that if Building Code violations are covered up, they may be impossible to detect once construction is complete, putting new homeowners at risk.
Having impartial, government employed inspectors signing off on each stage of a construction project as completed, ensures that all buildings adhere to the highest possible standards. This is unquestionably in the public’s best interest and should not be compromised in the interests of efficiency.
The City of Toronto also currently has the capacity to hire outside inspectors under its own supervision if there is a backlog. Changes of this nature should therefore not be required.
Last week, Council adopted a motion asking the Ministry to consult directly with the City of Toronto before any changes are made. Residents should be aware that this issue is currently being discussed and may wish to reach out to Provincial representatives if concerned.