As published in the Brampton Board of Trade – Trade Talks Magazine.
Looking forward to the Year ahead, I can’t help but be optimistic. For many people, the New Year is welcomed with a fresh start, not necessarily with outlandish New Year’s Resolutions but with good intentions based on a solid plan.
As incoming President of the Brampton Real Estate Board (BREB) we have set our strategic plan, our goals and embarked on adopting Quality of Life as a goal.
Quality of Life is an approach that BREB and other local real estate boards and associations as well as individual REALTORS® have adopted to demonstrate the commitment of the real estate profession to improve Quality of Life throughout the province of Ontario. The approach is summarized in five principles:
- Protecting economic vitality
- Providing housing opportunities
- Preserving our environment
- Protecting property owners.
- Building better communities
A year ago, the reason behind adopting the quality of life strategy was not really clear to me. It sounded good but I had no idea what it meant or how we could use it at BREB to determine what our priorities would be. Over the course of the year I have seen how the quality of life principles fit with our Board strategy and with many of the things we do.
Earlier in the year REALTORS® from across the country converged on Parliament Hill to demonstrate proposals that would help do three things at once. Our proposals were to help revitalize our communities, accelerate our economy and help our environment.
We lobbied our MP’s in Ottawa recommending that the government permanently index the Home Buyers Plan withdrawal limit to inflation to ensure it never loses its buying power. We recommended the plan be extended to all homebuyers for two years, similar to the temporary stimulus measure applied to help alleviate the 1990’s recession.
We also lobbied in support of deferral of the capital gains tax and the recaptured capital cost allowance when a rental property is sold and the proceeds are reinvested in another rental property within one year.
In April, a delegation from the Ontario Real Estate Association appeared before the Standing Committee on General Government to present REALTOR® concerns related to the Mandatory Home Energy Audits. This appearance resulted in the addition of a provision that allows a purchaser to “Opt Out” of the mandatory audit.
These are just a few of the ways that REALTORS® helped in 2009. Again this year, we will lobby our provincial and federal governments semi-annually. We are also striving to forge a stronger bond with our Municipal Government so that we can build a better community right here in Brampton.
Ruth Ballantyne is President of the Brampton Real Estate Board and can be reached at Ruth@RuthBallantyne.com