Government is appointing nine public-interest members to the Real Estate Council of British Columbia, increasing its accountability and objectivity in fulfilling its role of protecting the public interest, Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced today.
Robert D. Holmes is appointed as chair of the council. Holmes brings a wealth of legal expertise to the council, having worked as a litigation and arbitration lawyer for more than 32 years. He also served as president of the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C., president of the BC Civil Liberties Association and on provincial council of the B.C. Branch of the Canadian Bar Association.
The B.C. government has taken significant action to protect real estate consumers and safeguard the public interest, overhauling the regulatory framework and strengthening oversight and accountability of the sector. Self-regulation of the industry is ended with these appointments. A second set of government-appointed members will follow.
The Real Estate Council of British Columbia is now one part of a broader system of organizations responsible for supervising the real estate industry. The council continues to be responsible for licensing, investigating complaints, enforcing licensee rules and disciplining licensees found to be breaching their obligations.
Newly appointed superintendent of real estate Mike Noseworthy will assume leadership of the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate on Oct. 19, 2016. Changes to the regulatory framework for the real estate industry increase the superintendent’s oversight of and authority over the council. These and other changes to the Real Estate Services Act to significantly strengthen consumer protection took effect on Sept. 30, 2016.
Other steps that are strengthening real-estate regulation include increasing the maximum penalty for misconduct to $250,000 from $10,000 for individual misconduct, and to $500,000 from $25,000 for brokerage misconduct, allowing for commissions from licensees and brokerages engaging in misconduct to be taken back to council for licensee and public education, transferring rule-making authority from council to the superintendent, and allowing owners to train and supervise licensees only if they themselves are licensees.
Premier Christy Clark has laid out six principles to guide government’s decisions in addressing housing affordability in the Lower Mainland:
- Ensuring the dream of home ownership remains within reach of the middle class
- Increasing housing supply
- Transit expansion
- Supporting first-time home buyers
- Ensuring consumer protection
- Increasing rental supply
A number of changes put in place by the provincial government are already working to help make housing more affordable for middle-class families, and further steps will be announced in the coming weeks.
To date, the Province has:
- Committed $855 million this year to support the construction of rental housing throughout British Columbia, in addition to other housing affordability actions.
- Implemented a 15% additional property transfer tax that applies to foreign purchasers of residential real estate in Metro Vancouver.
- Strengthened consumer protection in British Columbia's real estate market through increased oversight and accountability of real-estate licensees.
- Introduced a luxury tax on properties that sell for more than $2 million.
- Introduced a Newly Built Homes exemption, which has helped nearly 6,400 families save an average of $7,500 on their newly built homes.
Finance Minister Michael de Jong –
“As consumers, we expect to be treated fairly and with integrity, especially when making the important decision to purchase a home. These changes are part of government’s broader efforts to restore public confidence and trust in the system.”
- The Real Estate Council of British Columbia’s mandate is to protect the public interest by enforcing the licensing and licensee conduct requirements of the Real Estate Services Act.
- Government will appoint a total of 16 members to council. A second set of appointments will follow.
- Members are appointed for terms ranging from one to two years.
- Read about government’s appointment of the superintendent of real estate: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016FIN0039-001723\
- Learn about how the Province is working to make housing more affordable for British Columbia families: http://housingaffordability.gov.bc.ca/
- Visit the Real Estate Council of British Columbia’s website: https://www.recbc.ca/
A backgrounder follows.
Jamie EdwardsonCommunications Director
Ministry of Finance
The government considered a number of factors in its search for candidates for appointment, including experience in the regulatory field, legal expertise, knowledge of the real estate industry, including experience with strata management, as well as regional, gender and cultural diversity.
Robert D. Holmes, chair
Robert Holmes is a litigation and arbitration lawyer with over 32 years of experience. He has appeared in all levels of courts in Canada and practices with Holmes & King in Vancouver. Holmes has lectured, written and appeared on radio and television on a wide variety of legal and public interest matters, including while serving as president of the Trial Lawyers Association of BC, president of the BC Civil Liberties Association, and chair of the Vancouver Civil Litigation Section and on Provincial Council of the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association. Holmes has served as a member of the Vancouver Coastal and Provincial Health Services Patient Care Quality Review Boards since 2008 and has been appointed chair of those boards for 2016-2019. Holmes holds his bachelor of arts and bachelor of laws from the University of British Columbia and received his master of laws from Yale University. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in December 2010.
John Lawrence Daly
John L. Daly was a news reporter for Global BC from 1980 to 2016. Daly has taught interviewing techniques and investigative reporting at BCIT and UBC Continuing Education, and is frequently an invited speaker for professional organizations and conferences on the demands of the news media, and where news is headed. A recipient of numerous awards, Daly was awarded the very first Webster for the best reporting of the year, in any medium, placing his cameraman, editor and himself against all other TV, radio, magazines and newspapers.
Rob Gialloreto is president and CEO of Consumer Protection BC, which promotes a fair marketplace for B.C. consumers and businesses. Prior to this role, he was the president and CEO of Tourism Victoria, the destination marketing organization for Greater Victoria. Gialloreto has experience on a number of boards, including serving as a director on the Tourism Industry Association of Canada board of directors. He specializes in organizational leadership, business development, strategic media relations, marketing research, coaching/mentoring, financial management/accountability and public speaking.
Sandra Lynn Heath
Sandra Heath is semi-retired as the president of HTD Inc., an international training and human-resources consulting firm that focuses on developing leadership capacity. Heath has held senior management positions in both the private and public sector. She chaired the Providence Health Care Board and served on the board of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority for seven years, chairing two different committees. Most recently she chaired the board of directors of the Portland Hotel Society for one year. She has also served on the boards of community arts organizations.
Gerald Lawrence Martin
Gerry Martin is the managing broker of B.C. Farm and Ranch Realty Corp. Martin was a member of the Real Estate Council of British Columbia from 2006-12, including a one-year term as chair. Martin was re-elected to council in May 2016 and served from July 1, 2016, to Sept. 30, 2016, as a broker member from the County of Westminster (south of the Fraser River). He is also a past director of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board and past chair of its broker council. Martin has been licensed for 38 years.
Elana Valerie Mignosa
Elana Mignosa was first appointed to council in September 2015. She is now being reappointed with her new term ending October 2017. Mignosa is the chief financial officer for British Columbia Clinical and Support Services. Mignosa was previously the vice-president of finance (imaging and workflow solutions) for McKeeson Technology Solutions, a FORTUNE 500 health-care IT company. Prior to her role at McKesson, she was the chief financial officer and chief information officer for HealthCare Benefit Trust, and the vice-president of trust administration for the Alderwoods Group. In her community, Mignosa is a board member for Aunt Leah's Place and past treasurer for the Dunbar Community Association.
Sukhmander S. Sidhu
Sukh Sidhu is a real estate agent with RE/MAX Little Oak Realty. Previously, Sidhu was a real estate agent with Block Bros. Realty Ltd. Active in his community, Sidhu serves as a director with Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, a board on which he served as president from 2011-12. He was a president of the Indo-Canadian Business Association in Abbotsford. Sidhu continues to serve on Abbotsford Police Board. Sidhu holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Guru Nanak College and a master of arts degree in political science from Khalsa College in Amritsar, Punjab, India.
William Thomas Styffe
W. Tom Styffe is semi-retired after a career in construction-project management, which spanned over 30 years, and included projects ranging in scope from the $25-million Douglas College New Westminster campus, to the construction of schools, hospitals, commercial projects, and 1,500 units of residential construction. Styffe served on the board of Okanagan College for six years, most recently as chair. Styffe is also an active member in the Southern Interior Local Government Association, the Union of BC Municipalities, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
Maili Wong is first vice-president, investment advisor and portfolio manager with CIBC Wood Gundy with 15 years of international investment experience, including five years in New York City, during which she helped manage over $5 billion in assets for a global investment fund. Wong has also worked in Toronto on the investment team for a global insurance company in 1999, was a member of the UBC Portfolio Management Foundation (PMF) from 1999-2001, and was elected to serve on the UBC Board of Governors from 2000-2001. Wong is known for her commitment to delivering complete confidence in her financial advice and client relationships. She and her team are proud to be recognized as being catalysts for building client wealth.