Real Estate Council of Alberta Publication Guidelines

1. Objectives: Section 55 of the Real Estate Act places duties and discretion upon the Executive Director to publish information respecting enforcement, licensing, and registration, and other regulatory action. Section 55 of the Real Estate Act permits the executive director to publish personal information about the industry member related to the business of the industry member. These guidelines acknowledge that the Personal Information Protection Act places responsibilities and limitations on the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information that the executive director may publish.

Section 55 of the Real Estate Act provides:

The executive director may publish information respecting
(a) the refusal, cancellation or suspension of an authorization issued by the Council under this Act,
(a.1) the name, business contact information and category of authorization of industry members,
(b) a person’s withdrawal from industry membership, or
(c) prosecutions and disciplinary actions taken under this Act, and those publications have qualified privilege.

These guidelines express Council’s views. When circumstances so warrant, the Council recognizes that the executive director may deviate from these guidelines.

The objective of these publication guidelines is to demonstrate that RECA is a transparent and accountable regulator that protects the public, and promotes the integrity of the industries it regulates.

2. PUBLICATION MODE AND CONTENT

A. Enforcement Decisions

It is Council’s belief that publication of all enforcement decisions i.e. hearing and appeal panel decisions, with or without findings of misconduct, court decisions and authorization suspensions, is in the public interest. Publication of these items demonstrates to the public and the industry the activities RECA undertakes toward consumer protection and promotion of the integrity of the industry.

The publication mode and content depends on:

  1. the enforcement or disciplinary action processes;
  2. the seriousness of the contraventions; and
  3. the sanction or other enforcement action. 

The executive director publishes enforcement decisions and actions in the Case Summaries publication, on RECA’s website, in RECA’s annual report, and other regulatory and government websites the executive director deems appropriate. Publication is in accordance with RECA’s Redaction Policy.

RECA notifies the media when the enforcement decision is very serious in nature and it is in the public interest to inform the public. Examples include a suspension or cancellation of an authorization, a lifetime withdrawal from the industry, or unlicensed activity where the executive director is of the opinion it is in the public’s best interest to publish the disciplinary or enforcement action. RECA also posts the news release on its website.

B. Licensing and Registration Refusal Decisions and Licensing and Registration Refusal Appeal Decisions

It is Council’s belief the executive director publish licensing and registration refusal decisions and licensing and registration appeal decisions. Publication demonstrates to the public and the industry RECA’s commitment to transparent, consistent, and fair authorization decision making in the public interest.

In most cases, the executive director will publish these decisions in the Case Summaries, in the annual report (statistical information), and on Council’s website. Publication is in accordance with RECA’s Redaction Policy.

3. PUBLICATION IN CASE SUMMARIES AND ON RECA’S WEBSITE

A. Enforcement Decisions

All enforcement actions, including disciplinary action resulting in finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, no finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, mixed finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, the sanction and Real Estate Act provincial offence conviction(s) are

a) published in the Case Summaries; and
b) posted on the RECA website
c) posted on CanLII (Canadian Legal Information Institute
website)
d) shared with other regulators and other regulatory decision databases

The information published depends on the enforcement process undertaken, and the resulting outcome or sanction as follows:

i) Letter of Reprimand

Publication in Case Summaries
The executive director issues letters of reprimand in the least serious misconduct cases. Publication includes the industry member’s name(s) and business contact information. The publication includes the fact that the executive director issued a letter of reprimand, the breach, and a summary of the facts and circumstances. 

RECA website
RECA publishes the full letter of reprimand.

The intent of publication is educational, and to act as both a specific and general deterrent. 

ii) Administrative Penalty

Case Summaries
RECA publishes Administrative Penalties in the Case Summaries and includes the industry member’s name, a summary of the facts, circumstances, breaches, and sanctions.

RECA website
RECA publishes the complete Administrative Penalty on its website and on CanLII.

The intent of the publication is educational, and to act as both a specific and general deterrent.

iii) Hearings, Appeals, and other Court Decisions resulting in finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, no finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, mixed finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, the sanction and Real Estate Act conviction(s)

Case Summaries
RECA publishes hearing, appeal, and other court decisions resulting in finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, no finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, mixed finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction in its Case Summaries publication. The publication includes the industry member’s name, a summary of the facts, circumstances, breaches, and sanctions.

RECA website
RECA publishes hearing, appeal, and other court decisions resulting in finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, no finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, mixed finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction on the RECA website. The publication includes the full decision.

RECA also publishes its hearing, appeal, and other court decisions on CanLII.

The intent of the publication is educational, and to act as both a specific and general deterrent.

iv) Real Estate Act Withdrawal Application (s. 54)

Case Summaries
RECA publishes Council approved lifetime withdrawal applications in the Case Summaries publication. The publication includes the industry member’s name, and a summary of the facts and circumstances.

RECA website and other regulatory websites
RECA posts a copy of the industry member’s s. 54 approval letter to the on the RECA website, and shares it with regulatory decision databases.

v) Real Estate Act temporary Suspension Order

Case Summaries
RECA publishes s. 53 temporary suspensions in the Case Summaries publication. The publication includes the industry member’s name, and a summary of the facts, and circumstances.

RECA website
RECA ordinarily issues a news release following a s.53 temporary suspension order, and posts a copy of the news release on the RECA website.

B. Licensing and Registration Refusal Decisions and Licensing and Registration Refusal Appeal Decisions

The executive director will publish summaries of licensing and registration refusal decisions and licensing and registration refusal appeal decisions in the Case Summaries publication. 

Information published will not identify the person to whom RECA refused to issue a licence, and RECA will not publish personal information about that person.

The executive director will publish only the fact that a refusal decision was made, what any appeal decision was, and a summary of the facts and circumstances.

4. NEWS RELEASE TO MEDIA

When RECA cancels or suspends an industry member’s authorization, or upon successful conclusion of a provincial court prosecution, RECA issues a news release to the media. The news release identifies the person, and summarizes the facts and circumstances of the case, as well as the decision.

(last updated January 25, 2018)

 

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