On August 8, 2019, Service Alberta Minister Nate Glubish issued a Ministerial Order requiring RECA to obtain his approval to implement any new policies, guidelines or regulations. The Minister explicitly called out the advertising changes, but the Ministerial Order applies more broadly.
AREA is of the opinion that the Ministerial Order applies to other policies, such as:
In its August newsletter, RECA points to the "economic situation in Alberta" as justification to raise fees. AREA would argue that current economics should encourage a regulator to maintain, not raise, fees.
RECA holds cash reserves of approximately $20 million dollars. Given government's KPMG report concluded that money was spent outside of the proper authority of Council, we encourage Council to use its ample cash reserves, rather than increasing fees on AREA's hardworking members.
On trust accounts, RECA administration has recently promoted an interpretation of rules 96/97 that has not been approved by Council – according to Council minutes – and that deviates significantly from longstanding industry practices. It is AREA’s opinion that this interpretation is unnecessary and would increase the red tape burden on brokers, while providing no additional protection for the public.
AREA does not support either of these policy changes proposed by RECA. We encourage Council to cancel implementation of these policies rather than to ask for Ministerial approval. We also encourage Council to investigate the irregularities in spending identified in the KPMG report.