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Alberta government fires board of real estate regulator

File: A real estate sold sign.
File: A real estate sold sign. Graeme Roy, The Canadian Press

The Alberta government is moving to fire the entire board that regulates the provincial real-estate industry on the grounds it is hopelessly dysfunctional and wracked by infighting.

Service Alberta Minister Nate Glubish has tabled legislation that will allow the province to dismiss the board and appoint an interim administrator until a new board is in place.

Glubish says the problems plaguing the Real Estate Council of Alberta have gone on too long and critical work is not being addressed.

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The decision follows an outside audit report on the council commissioned by the government earlier this year.

The report by KPMG says the board has been spending too much time on internal and administrative matters.

It says focus committees have been left empty, meetings have not been held and there’s been a lack of oversight on spending.

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“There are too many issues with the current composition and operations of council to enable an effective governance body,” says the report.

“Dismissing only a subset of council could contribute to a further deterioration in trust amongst council, administration and industry.”

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Glubish said immediate action is needed.

“The Real Estate Council of Alberta has failed to provide effective governance and oversight over the real-estate industry,” he told the house Wednesday.

“Our focus with this bill is to protect the overall operations of the council and its critically important role, and to restore Albertans’ trust in the real estate regulator.”

NDP critic Jon Carson said the plan is good in principle, but it’s critical that qualified people are picked for the new board.

“We’re going to be working very hard to ensure that moving forward, regular Albertans are appointed to this board and that it’s not just used as another opportunity for the (United Conservative Party) to appoint their friends and insiders,” said Carson.