Posted by: Daryl & Wendy Ashby | July 13, 2011

It Ain’t Over Yet !

TREB has issued a response to the latest “legal and publicity manoeuvres” by the Competition Bureau over the issue of VOW’s.

“The Commissioner is pressuring TREB to make changes to TREB’s own property listing system (MLS®) that TREB believes would violate consumer privacy laws, reduce the quality of the system, and diminish protection for consumers who list their homes in the Greater Toronto real estate market,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Richard Silver. 

In a release, it was stated that “TREB believes strongly in open competition within a housing market where consumers can be ensured privacy and quality. TREB has recently taken steps to provide secure password-protected websites designed to allow consumers to search and display MLS® listing data.”

“The Commissioner is pressuring TREB to go further to release private data about individual consumers openly on the internet. TREB believes that would be reckless and, in fact, a violation of the law.”

“TREB appreciates that the Commissioner has a job to do, but TREB is the wrong target,” said Mr. Silver. “The Commissioner obviously has recognized that her initial application back in May was faulty. Instead of working with TREB to find a practical solution for consumers, the Commissioner has today decided to pursue an additional legal process that will further delay improvements and further disadvantage consumers.”

Speaking to exclusively to, TREB president Richard Silver said that this issue remains a bit of a balancing act, and that the Competition Bureau’s latest move has created some timing issues. “We think that the job that the Competition Bureau does is worthwhile, but at the same time, we shouldn’t be the target.”

“For our membership, we want to make sure that we are not in jeopardy with the Privacy Commissioner. We are also trying to keep RECO happy and the Competition Bureau too for that matter.”

“TREB was already working toward development of a VOW policy… It will likely be ready for approval by the end of August, and members are invited to review and input.”




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