Alberta plans to fire entire real estate council board, orders total overhaul for provincial real estate governing bodyOctober 10, 2019
EDMONTON—Alberta’s real estate regulatory body will receive a complete overhaul, as the government has announced it intends to fire the entire Real Estate Council of Alberta amid allegations of misconduct that date back to 2016.
Service Alberta Minister Nate Glubish is ordering the dismissal of all council members on the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA), which oversees the issuing of real estate licenses and consumer complaints, through amendments to the province’s Real Estate Act. Glubish proposed these amendments in the house with Bill 15 on Wednesday afternoon.
Along with firing all eight of the current RECA council members, the amendments will give Glubish the power to appoint a single administrator to carry out RECA’s mandate for a year, subject to renewal, until a new council is formed. It is not clear what the selection criteria will be for the administrator, but Glubish said the focus will be to appoint someone who has “the right skills and competencies to do the job.”
“We have a huge task ahead to solve this mess,” Glubish said.
The dismissal follows an independent review conducted by accounting firm KPMG that began in January under the previous Alberta NDP government. The review was launched after several complaints from consumers about the council’s inability to govern itself effectively. Issues raised include the council’s inability to form a finance and audit committee. A performance review was also not conducted for RECA’s executive director in 2018.
“The Real Estate Council of Alberta has not been fulfilling its mandate,” Glubish said. “Instead of focusing on the issues facing the real estate industry … they have been focused on their own internal relationship differences and on trivial matters.”
The review also found inconsistencies in how the council granted spending authority to RECA’s administration, and a lack of clarity on the responsibilities of the council Chair, who neglected to hold meetings to elect committee chairs and a Chair Elect.
As a result of the findings, KPMG’s review recommended dismissing the entirety of RECA’s council in a June report, saying “there are too many issues” with its current composition, and it’s not expected that they would be able to resolve these issues themselves in a timely manner.
“By every measure, the real estate council of Alberta has received a failing grade,” Glubish said.
Currently, only eight out of the board’s 12 positions are filled, as four members resigned following the release of KPMG’s report. The remaining members will be dismissed immediately once Glubish’s amendments are passed.
Rob Telford, current chair of RECA, said the council welcomes Glubish’s amendments and will comply with them. Telford is among the council members who would be let go as a result of these amendments.
“As the independent governing authority for Alberta’s real estate industry, consumer protection is at the core…