We work to promote and protect fairness for homeowners in their interactions with Tarion by:
- Providing homeowners a venue to express their concerns.
- Offering information, advice and assistance on issues of fairness.
- Conducting thorough, impartial and independent review of complaints and fairness disputes
- Looking for fair resolutions to rectify individual concerns
- Making recommendations to Tarion to improve broader systemic issues
The New Home Ombuds is an independent and confidential office within Tarion. We report directly to the Board of Directors and not to Tarion management. Tarion does not access our files or our database and we have separate privacy and confidentiality protocols from Tarion. We do not share information with Tarion unless a complainant provides permission for us to do so. We are members of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and adhere to their Statement of Ethical Principles.
Because we are familiar with Tarion’s policies and processes, we can easily identify errors or omissions. This allows us to quickly respond to complaints, efficiently resolve fairness disputes and see when systemic changes are needed to improve fairness within Tarion.
The New Home Ombuds Terms of Reference govern how the office operates and outline the mandate of the office. They are reviewed annually and any revisions are approved by the Board of Directors.
Please click the link below to view the Terms of Reference (PDF will open in a new tab/window):
In October 2023 Tarion’s Board of Directors appointed Tom Barber to the position of New Home Ombuds.
Prior to joining the New Home Ombuds office Tom headed the Fair Practices Commission, the organizational ombudsman for the Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) in Ontario. Tom began his complaints investigation career in 2004 in the standards enforcement department at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (now CPA Ontario), the regulatory body for public accountants in Ontario. Tom also spent 10 years at the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman in various roles.
A graduate of Brock University, Tom completed the Osgoode/Forum of Canadian Ombudsman Certificate program: Advanced Issues in Ombuds Practice in 2021.
Tom is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman.
Tom and the New Home Ombuds team are dedicated to protecting and promoting fairness for new home buyers in Ontario.
Rachel Schmidt joined the New Home Ombuds office in the role of Advisor in 2017. She served as Interim Ombuds from August 2023 to October 2023. Previously, she worked for over 15 years with the Ontario government as a Mediator and Issues Coordinator.
Rachel has a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from Conrad Grebel University College and a Certificate in Adult Education from George Brown College. Her career focus has been in conflict resolution and is grounded by a passion for peacebuilding and social wellbeing. She has designed and delivered dispute resolution, restorative justice and mediation training in various community and workplace settings.
Rachel is a member of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman.
Fatima Ainanshe has been with the New Home Ombuds office since 2018, in the role of Early Resolution Officer. She is responsible for complaint intake, issue identification, analysis and resolution of complaints.
Fatima has a strong background in regulatory enforcement and complaint resolution, with experience in the real estate and health regulatory sectors. She also served for many years as a legal clerk.
Fatima is a member of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman
Noah Waksman joined the New Home Ombuds office as an Early Resolution Officer in 2021. Along with Fatima he is responsible for complaint intake, issue identification, analysis and resolution of complaints,
Noah holds a BA in Political science from York University. Prior to joining the New Home Ombuds office, he worked as a flight instructor where he was able to not only indulge in his love of flying, but also to gain experience in both conflict resolution and regulatory work. This led to a career change and the completion of a certificate in mediation. Noah is currently pursuing certification as a Qualified Mediator (Q.Med).
Noah is a member of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman.