Reports from independent group looking into shadow flipping tell differing stories

It’s a tale of two reports, both from an independent advisory group looking at allegations made against British Columbia’s real estate industry to the Chair of the Real Estate Council of B.C.

The group chaired by real estate superintendent Carolyn Rogers was appointed by the council in February to improve consumer protection and strengthen public confidence in the real estate industry.

This month, Rogers penned two reports to Real Estate Council of B.C. Chair Marylou Leslie.

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Neither report has definitive answers on how to stop realtors from unethically profiting by flipping home sales contracts before the closing date.

While both reports reaffirm concerns over shadow flipping, the report dated April 8 admits the advisory group had met only three times, not enough to make any initial recommendations.

“It just doesn’t seem like a lot of work is being done,” NDP housing critic David Eby said.

A follow-up report dated April 12 omitted the fact that the advisory group’s first two meetings were spent with the real estate council it’s supposed to investigate, hearing presentations on how the regulatory system works and where the gaps may be.

“I don’t quite understand how they reconcile that independent role with the fact that two out of their three meetings have been briefings by the real estate council,” Eby said.

The advisory group will be focusing on the abuse of assignment contracts and double-ended deals where a realtor represents both buyer and seller. It will also look at stiffer penalties, regulatory overlap with real estate boards and associations, and whether the Real Estate Council of B.C. can continue to self-regulate.

There are no names of crooked realty firms in either report, nor are there numbers showing how often shadow flipping really occurs.

Those questions are left for the Real Estate Council of B.C.

“It is the council’s practice to publish any disciplinary decisions publicly,” Rogers said.

A final report with recommendations is due in early June.

The reports can be viewed here.

– With files from

Inclusion key to Sask. NDP leadership search according to insider

SASKATOON – The search for the next leader of Saskatchewan’s New Democratic Party (NDP) must be inclusive and wide-ranging, due in part to the number of its caucus members, according to a party insider.

“I think now is the time to open up the job applications process and ask everyone to apply,” said David McGrane, a political scientist at the University of Saskatchewan and a NDP member.

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    “We’re not in a position in our party where we can say listen, we only have ten candidates and that’s it,” he added, referencing the number of MLAs in the NDP’s caucus.

    READ MORE: Saskatchewan NDP Leader Cam Broten steps down after election loss

    Cam Broten resigned as leader Monday, after leading his party to a net gain of one seat in the recent provincial election. Broten was not among the 10 elected MLAs, as he narrowly lost his race in Saskatoon Westview to the Saskatchewan Party’s David Buckingham.

    The party will choose an interim leader in late April; however, it will likely take months until a permanent choice is made. McGrane said he hopes the search is inclusive and must feature a diverse slate of candidates.

    “I would go as far as to say that we shouldn’t have the leadership race if there’s not a woman in it as a candidate,” said McGrane.

    “I think having a First Nations person or a Métis person, it would be absolutely great.”

    Then there’s the question of ideology. McGrane said he didn’t believe a leadership race would splinter a party with some members who may hope its policy moves further to the left of the political spectrum.

    “Our party’s not going to move forward unless we debate issues and policies,” said McGrane.

    “Will there be disagreements? Undoubtedly there will be disagreements and that’s a good thing, that’s a healthy thing for a party.”

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