PAC'd Up

REALTORS® from across the country arrived on Parliament Hill earlier this month during CREA's annual Political Action Committee (PAC) Days conference to provide Members of Parliament with an update on the Canadian housing market and REALTOR® proposals that benefit homebuyers, property owners and communities. This year, our advocacy concentrated on the importance of indexing the Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) to help make homeownership more affordable, and extending the HBP to Canadians after a significant life change to help maintain homeownership.

PMO and CREA for PAC Days 2014

For the first time in the 29 year history of PAC Days, REALTORS® were privileged to meet the leaders of the three major political parties. In the lead up to PAC Days, CREA's Executive discussed the housing market with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Minister of State for Social Development, the Honourable Candice Bergen kicked-off the conference, highlighting accessible and sustainable housing measures and reiterating the government's commitment to ensuring a stable housing market and financial system.

On May 12th, Canada's Leader of the Official Opposition, the Honourable Thomas Mulcair, took to the PAC Days stage to speak to REALTORS® about the NDP's vision for building a balanced, sustainable, 21st century economy. The following day Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, joined PAC Reps to discuss the Liberal Party's path forward for Canada, built on collaborative solutions and input from experienced professionals like REALTORS®.

Read messages to REALTORS® from some of these PAC guests here.

Other notable guests included former Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, CBC's Rick Mercer of The Rick Mercer Report and former federal Cabinet Minister and former Newfoundland Premier Brian Tobin. PAC Reps also had the opportunity to hear from some of Ottawa's most noted journalists and pundits.

While PAC Reps have PAC'd up and gone home, PAC Days is but one piece in our larger, year-round advocacy puzzle. The REALTOR® community can build on this momentum and drive our industry's Home Buyers' Plan proposals for the next federal budget by joining the today.

Many Business Models, all REALTORS®

The real estate industry has changed significantly over the last number of years, with a variety of newer business models participating alongside more traditional brokerages. And of course, REALTORS® can and do have their own opinions about the different types of business models.

CREA and its member boards and associations support a wide variety of business models for REALTORS®.

While members are entitled to their own opinions and are perfectly free to explain to clients the benefits of the particular services they provide, voicing a disparaging opinion about a particular competitor or business model can raise potential issues under the REALTOR® Code as well as legal concerns such as a lawsuit for defamation or even an investigation under the federal Competition Act. To minimize the risk to you and to the people with whom you communicate, think carefully before sending any e-mails or taking part in online, face to face or telephone discussions or other kinds of communications which could be viewed as defaming a particular competitor or advocating a discriminatory approach to a particular competitor or business model.

We strongly recommend that every member visit to view CREA's four short videos on key competition concerns for REALTORS®. Knowing these "do's" and "don't's" will give you the information you need to stay on the right side of the law.