A Message from the Chair

For my end-of-year message this year, I want to take us back to a time when we were making New Year’s resolutions in preparation for a new decade.

The year 2020 was supposed to be special: for many, myself included, we were ready to make it the Roaring 20s all over again.

Looking back to New Year’s Eve 2019 seems like both forever ago and the blink of an eye… I guess that’s what a worldwide pandemic will do. Heading into my year as Chair, I didn’t know what to expect; I can tell you for certain, this wasn’t it.

First and foremost, these have been some of the most challenging times of our lives, for a variety of reasons. I empathize with our members who have been directly affected by COVID-19. Whether you or someone you love has contracted the virus, or whether you’ve taken a financial hit this year, the effects of a global pandemic are far-reaching and have been detrimental. I’ve seen how it’s affected, in one way or another, the lives of 240 of my colleagues at StreetCity Realty throughout our offices in Ontario. The stories are similar across Canada—we all feel a sort of disconnection from ourselves, society and in some aspects, reality.

But just like it wasn’t in my plans, dealing with a pandemic wasn’t in your plans, either. That’s why I made it my mission that together, with the team behind me at CREA and our Board of Directors, we’d make sure REALTORS® could survive these tumultuous times.

We’ve communicated like never before, ramping up how we deliver important messages to members and the frequency of those emails, social media posts, webinars and blog posts. We’ve advocated for our members, as proven by the adaptations the Canadian government has made for REALTORS® thanks to our Government Relations team’s efforts. And we’ve helped members shift focus to a virtual-first mindset—something we are now prepared to inevitably face in the future.

As REALTORS®, we pride ourselves in how we relate and communicate with people. We want to be there for our clients as they navigate the complicated home buying process. We are an important step in helping Canadians achieve their dreams; don’t forget that. Just because in-person café meetings are now replaced with messy home office Zoom calls, doesn’t diminish the work we’re doing to help keep Canada’s economy rolling.

With every Zoom call you make, with every virtual showing you conduct and with every email you send your MP, you’re helping raise the bar of professionalism for REALTORS®–and you’re doing it during unprecedented times.

This year has been trying, but I do believe we’ve pushed the needle in the right direction when it comes to REALTOR® advancement. I saw firsthand in November how REALTORS® from across Canada can come together and do some good, as part of the second-annual REALTORS Care® Week. It reinforced my belief in putting kindness above everything (which just so happens to be the name of my wife Mary’s non-profit charity). I think as we enter the holidays and another new year with who knows what in store, it’s important to remember the sentiment of that phrase.

To every REALTOR® in Canada reading this, thank you for everything you do.

From my family to yours, have a safe and happy holiday season.

Year-End Messages from CREA’s Board of Directors

Cliff Stevenson – Chair-Elect

Happy holidays and my sincerest best wishes to all for a joyful new year.

Jill Oudil – Vice-Chair

This year has been one of growth and patience. I feel lucky to now be so grateful for things I always took for granted. Cheers to all, and to making the best out of this Christmas and holiday season!

Jason Stephen – Past Chair

I know 2020 has come with certain challenges and opportunities that we never expected. I truly hope your holiday season is full of laughter and great memories! On behalf of the Stephen family, we want to wish you and your family a healthy and joyous holiday season!

Darcy McLeod – Regional Director, British Columbia/Yukon

Wishing our REALTOR® family and all of your families from coast to coast a magical holiday season and a healthy and prosperous 2021! Cheers!

Michael Barrett – Regional Director, Manitoba

Despite the challenges 2020 presented us with, we faced them together, and discovered many great learnings along the way. We have been changed by this experience and will be stronger going forward. Happy holidays. Be safe, be well and prosper!

Kari McBride – Regional Director, Atlantic

New Year? Yes please! Here’s to better times ahead for us all! Wishing you a season that ends the present year on a cheerful note to make way for a fresh and bright new year. May your heart and home be filled with joy, love, hope and kindness.

Larry Cerqua – Regional Director, Ontario

I hope that each and every one of you enjoys whatever holiday it is you celebrate and that you stay healthy and safe. My wish is that the coming year brings us back to some form of normalcy. Happy holidays!

Georges E. Gaucher – Regional Director, Quebec

Yes, we could find all sorts of expletives to describe 2020, but let’s be positive… it’s over?!  May your 2021 be kinder, gentler and bring us all together.

Kimberly French – Regional Director, Atlantic

The holidays may be a little different this year, but remember, Christmas is a state of mind. May your families near and far feel the Christmas spirit—the love, the joy, the warmth and the wonder that it brings no matter where they are. Wishing you love and light this season and into the new year!

Steven Bobiash – Regional Director, Saskatchewan

Happy holidays and all the best in the new year!

Ron Abraham – Director-at-Large

Wishing everyone a wonderful and happy holiday season, from my house to yours! Let’s all hope we can put this pandemic behind us and have a great 2021. May you and your family stay safe and keep a safe distance during the season!

Dianne Usher – Director—at-Large

I am so proud of my REALTOR® family supporting our communities and adapting to the unprecedented challenges we faced in 2020. Warmest wishes to you all for a joyful and peaceful holiday season and a healthy 2021!

Don Kottick – Director-at-Large

Wishing you and all your families a very safe, healthy and wonderful holiday season! I hope 2021 brings you and your families a year filled with great health, unlimited abundance, lots of joy and happiness, and tremendous success in your careers.

James Mabey – Director-at-Large

At Christmas time, I like to take the opportunity to reflect on the past year remembering the challenges and counting my blessings. I feel so blessed to be a part of a wonderful real estate community across Canada, and indeed around the world. From my family to yours, may you find peace and joy this holiday season!

Phil Moore – Director-at-Large

Looks like we made it! And Santa promises that 2021 will be nothing like 2020. Have a very Merry Christmas!