CREA Coverage in Canwest Papers
CEO, Canadian Real Estate Association
The article that appeared in CanWest papers Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 is an inaccurate and sensational misrepresentation of an interview conducted yesterday with our President. We share your concern regarding the tone and message of the story and are taking steps to correct the misperceptions this article has created. CREA will be providing an Op Ed piece to Canwest today to rebut the article with hopes that it will be published in all their papers.
First and foremost, we have made it clear in every interview that we do not agree with the Bureau’s position that CREA rules are in any way anti-competitive, either as a matter of fact or as a matter of law, and that CREA’s rules allow for innovative business models and provide a broad range of choice for consumers. We also made it clear that the system has always been competitive – demonstrated by the varied business models, service options and fee structures that exist today – and that consumers have choice now and will continue to have choice.
Indeed, other media stories have cited examples of fee-for-service Realtors and the range of rates they charge for MLS listings. We’ve made clear too that CREA does not tell Realtors how to run their businesses nor does CREA get involved in any way in their relationships with their clients.
Through our discussions with the Competition Bureau it was clear that CREA and the Bureau share the same views with respect to upholding a healthy, competitive marketplace. It is for that reason that we told the Bureau last week that we are willing to recommend to our members that CREA take proactive action to clarify our rules – through improved language – to reinforce our commitment to competition and consumer choice and in so doing address the Bureau’s primary concerns. It was not CREA’s decision to pull the plug on discussions that, until Monday, had been progressing in good faith.
Unfortunately, CREA cannot control inaccurate media reporting. We will continue to monitor media and take action where appropriate. Now that CREA has completed a full round of interviews in response to the Competition Bureau’s announcement and we have nothing further to add, we will be referring media to our press release for comment as it contains our position noted above.
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