Privatizing land registry a slippery slope

by John Tenpenny25 Sep 2015
A move by the provincial government to privatize the land registry could mean more fees for home buyers in Nova Scotia.

The government said in July it is looking at off-loading the costs of upgrading its registry services for land, businesses and motor vehicles by partnering with the private sector.

If approved, the province has said the companies would provide registry services for Nova Scotians, while the government would be responsible for regulating the registries and setting fees.

“We’re concerned that privatization of a public service like the land registry could result in higher fees, less publically available data, and reduced access to services,” said Gord Burns, president of the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors (NSAR).

Based on what happened in Ontario and Manitoba after the land registry was privatized, NSAR said it’s concerned the costs for home purchase-related services such as legal and surveyor fees could go up.

“If service providers need to pay increased fees to access the registry, then that will be passed on to consumers,” said Burns. 

“Realtors in Nova Scotia believe that the possibility of home ownership is a fundamental right and anything that would hinder people from purchasing or selling a home, such as higher fees or lack of access to public data, is something that our members are very concerned about.”

COMMENTS

  • by 9/25/2015 12:31:33 PM

    I agree that this is a bad idea, for all the reasons indicated above.

  • by Lex Sheng 9/26/2015 9:36:39 AM

    This is for sure a concern, as history already provided us with stats that shows what happens when the public services are sourced out to be controlled by private sector. We Canadian pay a high tax and plus a fair share of it too at the same time they are try to cut our services. Everything cost go's up when you have private company only thinking of profits and how and where they can collect additional income. It's easy to get money for information that we need for our transactions to be smooth. We all should demand the service that we have already paid our taxes for.

  • by Maxy 9/26/2015 2:48:19 PM

    Some governments want to eat their cakes and have it. Some politicians love to be incharge only by transfering their responsibilities to the citizens to private for profit organizations. If the service is too expensive for the government to run, what is the government thinking the private sector will do to make it less expensive - borrow money from the banks and provide the services free to the citizens? The government should find a way to reduce cost even if it means slight increase in fees. The moderate increase will definitely be cheaper for citizens who access the services compared to what they will be forced to pay if and when the government transfers the responsibility to so called "private partners". Another alternative is for the government to expand the client base that use the services and get extra revenue. I will not be surprised if in not too distant future the government will tell us that schools and hospitals are too expensive to operate, therefore private sector take over of these public institutions will be the prefrred (best) economic solution to the cash crunch. Next SGI, water supply, roads and municipal councils will change hands and all the government will do is to 'supervise" the pain of tax payers. There should be a break to this accelerating vulture capitalism. Government is not a for profit organization but a service provider at COST.

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