Alberta plans to fire the members of the Real Estate Council of Alberta and appoint an administrator to manage RECA’s functions, including its hearings and appeals processes.
Minister of Service Alberta Nate Glubish announced proposed changes to the Real Estate Act that the government says, “address serious concerns raised by real estate professionals, buyers, sellers and regulatory officials.”
The proposed amendments were recommended by a third-party review by KPMG, which identified concerns with the governance of RECA as well as its performance and regulatory effect. Four council members have already resigned.
“For too long, serious concerns and complaints from industry and from council officials themselves have been ignored,” says Glubish. “That stops now. The council needs to stop focusing on trivial things like advertising guidelines and start focusing on protecting Albertans and addressing the actual issues facing the industry.”
He says, “There are too many issues with the current composition and operations of council to enable an effective governance body. Dismissing only a subset of council could contribute to a further deterioration in trust amongst council, administration and industry.”
The government says once the amendments come into force, the act would dismiss the current council members.
“An official administrator will be appointed to provide leadership and oversight for RECA over an interim period, until new council membership is established following further amendments to the Real Estate Act during spring 2020,” says Service Alberta. “RECA continues to provide day-to-day services related to real estate licensing, education and evaluation of professional conduct. No disruption in service to industry professionals or consumers is expected.”
In a statement responding to Service Alberta’s announcement, Rob Telford, RECA’s chair of council says, “We welcome the amendments and look forward to working with the minister and the administrator to ensure compliance. As the independent governing authority for Alberta’s real estate industry, consumer protection is at the core of our mandate, and RECA will continue to operate under that mandate moving forward. Core operations at RECA are not affected by these amendments.”