Home sellers in Manitoba will have an easier time finding and registering property titles and registrations, thanks to a new agreement between the provincial government and an Ontario-based company.
Finance Minister Jennifer Howard signed the deal with Teranet on Monday, saying the arrangement will make it easier to find and register legal documents related to home sales.
The provincial government announced in December 2012 that it's selling its property registry, which holds property titles, land surveys and other records, to Teranet Manitoba for $75 million.
Under the deal, Teranet will pay royalties to the province in exchange for a licence to provide property registry services to the public, the government said in a news release.
"This new agreement is an example of our government's efforts to find new and innovative ways to run our government in a more efficient and cost effective way," Howard stated in the release.
"It means better service for the public, a stable revenue stream for the province and a reduction in the size of government without putting any Manitobans out of work."
As part of the agreement, about 100 employees of the existing property registry will move to Teranet.
The 100 transferred jobs are part of the province's goal to cut 600 civil service positions through attrition, according to the province.
The Ontario company will not lay off the existing workers and will protect their employee benefits, Howard said.
Teranet is owned by the Ontario municipal employees' pension and has a similar agreement with the Ontario government for property registry services.
As part of its deal with Manitoba, Teranet will invest about $35.5 million in new technology to make sure the records are available in a "more convenient, faster and secure online system," according to the province.
The government says it's estimating annual royalty payments of $11 million that will go up to $24 million at the end of the 30-year licensing agreement.
All existing property registry offices will stay open, and the province says it will have the power to limit fee increases to "stable and predictable changes."
Howard said an Office of the Registrar General will be created to oversee the registry system.