tribunalThe Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an application by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) seeking leave to appeal the February 2014 Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) decision, which ordered the Competition Tribunal to reconsider its ruling in the bureau’s case against TREB.

In May 2011, the Competition Bureau filed an application with the tribunal challenging restrictions that TREB imposed on its members’ use of data in the MLS system. The tribunal dismissed the application against TREB in April 2013, but the bureau appealed the decision before the FCA. It ruled in February 2014 that the tribunal’s decision was based on an overly narrow interpretation of section 79 of the Competition Act – the “abuse of dominance” provision. The FCA ordered the tribunal to reconsider the bureau’s case on its merits.

TREB appealed that decision to the Supreme Court. Since that appeal was dismissed, the tribunal must now proceed with its reconsideration of the case.



“We welcome today’s decision by the Supreme Court of Canada that denies TREB’s application for leave to appeal,” says John Pecman, commission of competition, in a statement. “We continue to believe that prohibiting TREB’s anti-competitive practices and allowing real estate agents to provide the services of their choice is the only way to ensure that consumers and real estate agents alike can benefit from increased competition for residential real estate brokerage services in the Greater Toronto Area. Today’s decision brings us one step closer to that goal.”

TREB said in a statement: “As you can appreciate, the issue of  The Commissioner of Competition and Toronto Real Estate Board is once again before the Competition Tribunal, so it would be inappropriate for TREB to comment on details.

“TREB will say, though, that the commissioner of competition is persisting in its efforts to erode the personal privacy and contractual safeguards afforded by the MLS system. TREB will continue to work to protect the personal information entrusted to it and its members by the general public, while it strives always to do what it can to ensure a highly competitive environment for real estate professionals in the GTA.”

13 COMMENTS

    • Hi Tibor:
      ,p>TREB has a vested interest in the success of its members ‘locally’. CREA does not. CREA only cares about the never-ending stream of dues from the constant turnover of ultimately disillusioned wannabe’s on a ‘national’, bigger-bucks scale.
      TREB is largely made up of former/current in-the-trenches folks.
      CREA is largely made up of unaccountable overpaid (by you) salaried bureaucrats.
      CREA thinks that it is the United Nations of Real Estate, looking out for the interests of every one out there equally, including those who in fact do not pay them any sustenance fees.
      CREA is working all sides of the many fences out there, whilst taking only ‘your’ money.

      • Brian
        Really, have you any evidence to support your B.S, and exactly who is it that you believe benefit without paying fees? I just read the CREA latest win over the competition Bureau. No thank you, from you, for that ?

        • 1) INDIVIDUAL DUES PAYING MEMBERS HAVE NO VOTE AT CREA.
          2) CREA ONLY REPRESENTS REAL ESTATE BOARDS AND NOT THE DUES PAYING MEMBERS.
          3) CREA OPENLY REFUSES TO HOLD NEW 3RD PARTY TECH COMPANIES WHO BECAME BROKERS TO ACCOUNT IN BREAKING RULE 19.3 WITH IMPUNITY ON NATIONAL TELEVISION EVERY DAY IN ONTARIO.
          4) BRIAN CLEARLY IS REFERRING TO CREA SUPPLYING DATA TO 3RD PARTYS EACH MONTH FREE OF CHARGE ALONG WITH MARKET FORECASTS THAT THE DUES PAYING MEMBERS THEMSELVES WOULD RISK LOSING THEIR LICENSE IF THEY ISSUED SIMILAR STATS.
          5) CREA FORCED ALL BOARDS TO JOIN THE DDF OR LOSE MEMBERSHIP IN CREA…EXCEPT MANITOBA OH YES AND THEN QUEBEC WHO SIMPLY CALLED CREAS BLUFF WHEN THEY FOUND OUT ABOUT THE MANITOBA EXEMPTION.

          HOW COME CREAS ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION AND NOT AVAILABLE ON REALTORLINK MOSS???? DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT THEY SAY!!!! CLEARLY BRIAN DOES OR HE MADE A GREAT GUESS.

          • Ross:
            Thank you for the back-up.
            I find it to be very interesting that the critiques of the Canadian Organized Real Estate governance system as regularly presented herein by the likes of yourself, Carolyne, PED, Alan M, Chris Seepe and numerous others on a less regular basis are offered via in-depth knowledge of the ins and outs of the actual wordings of the documents concerned. However, the folks who don’t like what you, the aforementioned and I say seem to simply be venting from the perspective of conditioned thinking, assuming that we are their particular enemies, when in fact we are trying to engage the slumbering areas of their brains into actually waking up to the reality of how the bureaucrats are insidiously creating an entrenched Oligarchy of “We know what is best for you all” controllers who have very little respect for their dues payers. How can they have respect when they continuously roll the dice by encouraging unqualified naïve wannabes to “Giver ‘er a try mates!” knowing full well by the numbers that most will flame out whilst still offering their amateur-hour pseudo-services to the gullible public whilst at the same time their expensive ads (paid for mostly by the here-today-gone-tomorrow try-out artists) claim that all Realtors to be offering experienced professional services. Methinks the CREAcrats speak with forked tongues and the wannabe true believers of the ORE sell, sell, sell; pay dues, pay dues, pay dues culture hear with forked ears; they are simply all forked up. The system slices and dices them after extracting all of their disposable income and lets them rot on the vine until they inevitably jump into the waste-bin of failed dreams. Great legacy CREA and ORE.

          • Brian, Openly and unabashedly I am the enemy of the 70% who have caused irreparable damage to the REALTOR brand and I will not pretend otherwise. This includes organized real estate who refuse to tell members the truth.

            CREB mislead their entire membership by not providing them a sales forecast in January for the 2015 year, that their incomes would be 35-50% lower in 2015 than 2014. They hung those members out to dry by pretending things were OK to the public.

            Same thing happened in Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal, St.John’s etc etc. CREA issued no warning on protecting your family in a downturn instead they kept quiet and took your dues.

            “It’s not our role. That is for your board to say not us. We couldn’t say that. We won the CB case and now Yes folks every MLS system in Canada is now required to ensure “Alternate feature sheet is live for their association or the CB will sue you!!”

          • Ross I don’t get the 35-50%….am I missing something? Firstly, I don’t know anyone who predicted lower oil prices. Sure their were some suggesting homes in Canada were overvalued, but to suggest such a significant reduction in any market is huge. To suggest incomes would fall too is aggressive. Plus, we really are just getting started this year??

            Please enlighten me.

          • Brian,

            As I review the current CREA Board of Directors, the first thing that comes to mind is that this group could just as easily be the Board of Directors for any one of the Boards or Real Estate Associations across Canada. What I mean to say is that this isn’t some sort of All-Star squad! I don’t say this for the purpose of insulting anyone, but just to make the point that the cream doesn’t rise to the top in a volunteer organization — it’s as much a reward for volunteer service as it is recognition. That said, I would be more embarrassed to be a Canadian Senator than I would to be a CREA Director — but, suffice it to say I was never favored with a Regional Nomination, and if there wasn’t a Nominee, they wouldn’t agree to tell me my vote count.

            Our system of electing CREA Directors never really took into account the day when we would need people there who were really capable of fighting the good fight, and understanding all that was at stake. As far as my home turf is concerned, they’re still not ready to let the real warriors go forward!

        • Moss:
          Thank you for acknowledging my Brilliant Statements! (B.S.).
          If you want to say bull shit, just say it man. I can take it LOL>
          Regarding evidence:
          Question: Where does the money initially emanate from that CREA relies upon for its very existence?
          Answer:
          Dues paying members; the folks out in the field. Local boards and provincial associations are simply tax-collectors that funnel the tax-payers’ funds on upward to the CREAcrats.
          Question:
          Whose fiduciary interests do you think CREA should logically, thus in common-law, ultimately be working for; the folks who pay them, or every Tom, Dick and Harry (including the public) who do ‘not’ pay them? Government agencies (like the C.B.) look out for the public interest…why?…because that is what the government is paid to do by ‘its’ tax-payers.
          CREA is a private trade organization that is constitutionally responsible for the promotion of the interests of ‘its’ tax-payers…and no-one else. Ergo, anyone, or any other organization who/that benefits respectively from whatever CREA says/does is essentially benefitting without paying the piper. The evidence is crystal clear and speaks rationally for itself in my opinion.
          Up until CREA gave away the privately held and privately paid-for MLS due to the coercive efforts of one Melanie Aitken, I, like most registrants at the time, was a naïve supporter of CREA; that ship has long since left the harbour and is slowly sinking on the seas of dues-payer discontent.
          CREA did not ‘win’ this latest go-’round with the Competition Bureau; an erudite panel consisting of clear-headed thinkers (the Tribunal) simply upheld the obvious, and I am glad that they did so for the sake of the successful pursuit of justice. I believe that if gutless CREAcrats had not caved in to Aitken years ago this whole mess might have been dealt with well before now and on into the future.
          By the way, with all due respect, it is not a CREA win; it is a dues-payers’ win.
          CREA is made up of not-so-useful dilettante’ish idiots in my opinion, more useful to those who do not pay into the organization than for those who do. Like I said months ago, CREA thinks that it has morphed into the United Nations of the real estate world, except, unlike the United Nations (another outfit made up of useless left-wing socialist idiots who conduct interminable meetings in order to vote to have more interminable meetings ad infinitum until whatever current crisis exists has resolved itself by the natural forces of nature) which is supported by actual nations’ dues, CREA looks out for the interests of everyone ‘but’ its dues payers (I just can’t seem to say that enough) aside from producing expensive ads proclaiming things that the average consumer does not believe in the first place…because what the ads are proclaiming (all Realtors are professionals) is obviously not true. The ads should say “Do your research; interview, interview, interview, and make sure you hire a good Realtor. When, due to your smart choices, the number of Realtors falls off by about seventy per-cent, and there are not enough dues payers left to keep us afloat, we will ask you for money, because, it is you who we are most concerned about. We are the United Nations of Real Estate. We look out for you, because more of you have what we want, our money to-be.”
          Is it true that a rolling-stone gathers no moss, but rather, a head-stone does?

  1. It´s quite interesting, that my last public post on g+ was aimed at this matter. https://plus.google.com/115521364533492836525/posts/8NXnXqte63H
    I think that the entire movement of opening up MLS goes completely in the opposite direction of what the Tribunal is trying to accomplish.
    Please read my original story on this by clicking on the link, as I don´t want to rewrite or copy and paste it here in the comments. Thanks and I hope you enjoy reading a different opinion from someone who has experienced both markets. With and without rules and regulations.

    • Quite a revealing article Frank:
      If anyone thinks that the educated idiots who work as bureaucrats within the Canadian Competition Bureau know anything about the real world beyond their comfy, publicly supported bubble world, they are sadly mistaken.
      It’s all about at-arm’s-length theory for the Phd.’s, MA’s, honours BA’s etc. government bureaucrats who have, for the most part, never worked in the real world, but who have largely populated government agencies and academia etc. during the course of their cloistered working years by searching out and by being interned by same (their comfort zones; ironically, largely non-competitive) immediately upon graduation from the sanctity of left-wing university professors’ (who again have mostly never worked in the real world) indoctrination sessions. I know; I earned a degree in Political Science at a left-wing university during my mid-to-late thirties after having been in the work force (private industry) since my late teens. Therein lies the problem with the elitist bureaucratic ruling class. They are know-it-all’s who think and believe that they know what is best for the peons, but who in reality are simply spouting all the left wing gibberish that was taught to them by a long line of left-wingers who earned their spots in the system by giving ‘their’ left-wing profs. what ‘they’ wanted in order to earn ‘their’ A plus ratings, thus enabling each succeeding generation of educated idiots to continue to populate the indoctrination system…ad infinitum.
      I must say, however, that I did have great fun debating the really hard core left wingers (both profs. and students) during my university years with the hard facts as I had experienced them during my previous seventeen years in the work force. It was a real eye-opener for me regarding how the education system, most of the media and the political elites (both appointed and elected) operate (hand-in-hand) in this country.

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