Message from the Board Chair, Patricia McLeod, Q.C.
| November 16, 2021
The RECA Board was pleased to welcome the Minister of Service Alberta, the Honourable Nate Glubish, to our Board meeting on November 10, 2021. It was a pleasure for the Board and the Industry Councils to update the Minister on our activities in our first year. The Board is looking forward to working closely with the Minister over the next year as we begin regulating condominium managers, finalize the new bylaws, and continue the education divestment process.
On October 1 we entered the new licensing year at RECA and completed the first renewal period under the modernized governance structure. Thank you to every licensee who renewed, especially those who renewed early. RECA’s Registrar has reported that this renewal period was one of the smoothest RECA has ever had, and that the number of licensees who left renewing to the last day or two was at an all-time low. So thank you! You can read more in depth about renewals within this Regulator.
I’m pleased to see the industry taking their requirement to renew their licence seriously. It speaks to the professionalism of the industry when regulatory requirements are a priority. After all, professionalism and regulatory standards are two sides of the same coin. They form a causal relationship. Professionalism drives the regulatory standards and the regulatory standards ensure professionalism.
Licence renewals also brings to mind the purpose of a licensed and regulated environment: to protect the public. Licensing, and the standards licensees must adhere to in order to retain their licence, ensure the public can trust the industry. The role of the regulator is to ensure the public can have that trust, and that anyone who holds a licence is competent and accountable. Ensuring the regulatory standards are being adhered to and the conduct of licensees is professional is the whole point!
One of the primary responsibilities of the Board is to set the strategic direction for RECA. The Board will do that through the development of a multi-year strategic plan.
To develop such a plan, the Board will undergo strategic planning sessions in early 2022, after reaching out to all stakeholders to gather as much feedback on RECA’s potential strategic direction as possible. The Board has already reached out to all industry trade associations, consumers have begun providing input through consumer surveys, brokers have and will continue to be given the opportunity to speak directly to RECA about strategic planning at the RECA Broker Forums, and other licensees can provide direct feedback on the strategic planning questions through the strategic planning form on RECA’s website. The Board will review every response that comes through each form of feedback to consider during the strategic planning sessions.
This strategic planning session will come with some tough decisions, particularly due to RECA’s divestment of education. Education divestment means a new strategic reality for RECA, as education revenues provided the luxury for the industry of no licence fee increases for 8 years, despite the increase in enforcement matters RECA has been legislatively required to deal with over those years. Without those revenues, the Board will carefully assess how RECA delivers its mandate efficiently and effectively while being extremely conscientious of the impact of any potential fee increase.
Remember, you can always reach the Board by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I confirm that the Board sees every email that comes in.
RECA Bylaws and Education Divestment
One of the most pressing matters for the Board this year has been the development of the bylaws required by the Real Estate Act and Regulations. These bylaws pertain to four main areas: governance, Industry Council elections, education transition, and changes to existing bylaws to support good governance practices.
More specifically, these bylaws relate to:
- roles and responsibilities of Board and Industry Council members
- the duties of Chairs and Vice Chairs
- mandatory governance training
- Board and Industry Council member conduct and dispute resolution
- procedural rules and proceeding record keeping
- election requirements and processes
- the creation of committees
- the roles of the CEO and the Registrar
- financial reporting
- the setting of requirements for third-party education providers.
All of the new bylaws and suggested changes to existing bylaws must be approved by the Minister of Service Alberta. The Board approved draft bylaws and submitted them to the Minister for approval in September. Once approved by the Minister, RECA will communicate the new bylaws to all industry stakeholders.
Part of the bylaws relate to education divestment. This is an ongoing process with many moving parts that must be created, consulted on, and implemented sequentially to achieve full education divestment by the Minister’s December 1, 2022 deadline. After careful consultation with stakeholders, the Board approved an Education Framework, and now the Industry Councils have sent out validation surveys for competency profiles related to their licensing areas. These profiles will be used by third-party course providers to create their courses. Each Chair will speak more about these surveys in their updates, but I wanted to take a moment to thank all the licensees and trade associations that have taken part in the education consultations so far. Education divestment has been a lengthy, monumental undertaking, and the creation of the framework and the processes for it to happen has taken a lot of Board and Industry Council time and energy.
Thank you, again, to all RECA’s licensees who renewed and who take self-regulation seriously. I look forward to hearing from all of you about RECA’s strategic direction.