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Smith re-introduces bill to cut real estate red tape

Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith is reintroducing the Electronic Commerce Amendment Act, which he introduced in the legislature prior to the prorogation. The bill, which would allow for the use of electronic signatures on real estate transactions, was removed from the order paper along with everything else when the legislature was prorogued last fall.

“Over the break, I had meetings with members of the Quinte Real Estate Association, the Bancroft and District Real Estate Association and many others,” said Smith. “There was a lot of support from my constituents for this bill.”

He said Ontario’s electronic commerce laws were fine for the era when they were written but are inadequate for current technology.

“In the era of the tablet and Blackberry, we cannot afford electronic commerce laws stuck in the era of beepers and desktops.”

Smith said the bill is the first in a series of red tape reduction efforts he’s working on.

“As I’ve travelled through the province, I’ve come across a lot of red tape issues that are holding back development, productivity and economic growth in Ontario. It’s time we change that and, as the PC Critic for Small Business and Red Tape, it’s time for me to get out the scissors.

“Deleting the exemption from the Act will remove a cumbersome piece of red tape for the real estate industry and it won’t cost the province a dime,” said Ron Abraham, OREA President. “By enhancing legal protection for electronic agreements of purchase and sale, both consumers and REALTORS® can benefit from technology that makes real estate transactions more efficient, accessible and secure.”

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