Last week, in my capacity as President of the Greater Moncton Real Estate Board, I attend the Fall Conference of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). It was held in Victoria and was a very interesting experience. Part of the information given to us was about the on-going trouble we have been having with the federal Competition Bureau. They have decided to interfere in how our industry runs and wish to completely change how we operate our individual businesses because they feel we are being "anticompetitive". This is coming from the same group that cannot see any collusion among gas companies and how their prices at the pumps are set. Currently, in NB, the Provincial Government is setting the price. However we all remember a few years a go when they weren't and how the prices at the pumps seemed to magically change at the same time by the same amount!
The sad part about this is that CREA has spent a couple of million dollars in legal fees over this and stand to spend several million more to keep our federal bureaucracy out of our business. Who will be the next group of professionals targeted? Perhaps the various Provincial Engineering Associations for making people become Engineers before building bridges and buildings. Using the same "logic" they used with our Assoiciation, that must be anticompetitive as well.
The ironic thing is that, if we are forced to take on the business moodel the Competition Bureau suggests, private for sale companies will not be in business any longer because it would make even less sense for the consumer to use them. This appears like it will make less competition, not more.
On the plus side, I had never been to Victoria before and it is a beautiful city. We stayed at the Fairmount Empress(see picture bekow) which is a beautiful old building reminicient of the Chateau Laurier or Chateau Frontenac, or our own Algonquin in St. Andrews.