FRIDAY AFTERNOON: An Okanagan real estate agency says one of its former registered realtors has received multiple death threats following a social media post that was recently reported by Global News.
Century 21 Assurance Realty Ltd., said reactions to the social media post have been “totally unacceptable.”
The real estate agency said suspending the realtor’s licence “was mutually agreed upon to mitigate escalating hate speech” towards him, realtors and clients.
“Century 21 Assurance Realty Ltd., is a strong supporter of our many friends, clients and family members from Alberta. We sympathize with Albertans about the current economic climate and appreciate their perspective,” the company also said.
In the same press release, the realtor apologized for his “insensitive comments and disrespectful language used in a recent posting on social media.”
The press release can be seen below.
THURSDAY EVENING: Contacted earlier in the day, Century 21 Assurance Realty Ltd., returned an email to Global News on Thursday evening, stating “the realtor in question was not fired as he worked with us as an independent contractor. He is no longer a registered realtor with our firm at this time.”
Global News has updated the story.
Global News had other questions, but those went unanswered.
Think twice before posting comments on social media.
That’s the bottom-line message after an Okanagan realtor was let go this week after posting a comment regarding Alberta.
On Thursday, the managing partner of Century 21 Assurance Realty Ltd., told Global News that realtor Ben Houghton no longer works for the firm following fallout from the 16-word Facebook comment.
The comment from Houghton read: “Alberta such cry babies .. don’t worry Alberta your greed will soon be back in full swing.”
It’s not known what the comment was in response to, or the context in which it was made, but responses to it drew quick disapproval.
Further, emotions are still raw in many parts of Western Canada following Monday’s federal election in which Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party captured the most seats, albeit in a minority form.
However, the Conservatives dominated Alberta and Saskatchewan, along with most of B.C.’s northern and southern Interior electoral districts.
Following the election, talk of Alberta separatism has renewed, with #wexit trending on social media. Some have asked B.C. to join the separatist movement, which has resulted in mixed social media comments
While some in B.C. have agreed with the separatist movement, others have vehemently said no to the separatist movement. All this, not long after the ongoing divide between B.C. and Alberta regarding the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Regardless, Century 21 Assurance Realty Ltd. managing partner Max Carbone said Houghton is no longer a registered realtor with the firm.
“Yesterday, Ben Houghton, a realtor from our firm made negative comments about Albertans,” said the company in a Facebook comment.
“We wholeheartedly disagree with the remarks made about our fellow Canadians. We are strong supporters of our many friends, clients and family members from Alberta.
“Alberta has been an economic engine for our country. We sympathize with Albertans about the current economic climate and appreciate their perspective.
“Our brokerage has suspended Mr. Houghton and he is no longer a registered realtor with our firm.”
On social media, the suspension has resulted in many comments, ranging from positive to negative. Examples range from “being held accountable for their comments” to “I don’t know how anyone can be happy a man lost his job, even if he’s an (expletive).”
Global News has reached out to Houghton for comment.