Reappointment of Real Estate Council board members draws fire from NDP

A B.C. government decision to reappoint two members of the Real Estate Council of B.C. is drawing fire from the NDP.

NDP MLA David Eby says the reappointments send the wrong message about sticking with the status quo

In February, the Real Estate Council of B.C. appointed an independent advisory group to investigate allegations of 'shadow flipping' in Vancouver's hot housing market (Robson Fletcher/CBC)

A B.C. government decision to reappoint two members of the Real Estate Council of B.C. is drawing fire from the NDP.

On Friday afternoon Elana Mignosa was reappointed for a two-year term, while Colette Squires was reappointed for a three-year term by orders in council.

NDP MLA David Eby says the decision to reappoint the board members sends the wrong message at a time when the council is facing intense criticism.

"The real estate council seems to be asleep at the switch through some serious misconduct by major real estate firms." said Eby.

"To say we'll just send the same board members back to keep doing what they're doing sends a real strong message that the premier isn't concerned by what's happening or she's not paying attention," said Eby.

In February the council appointed an independent advisory group to investigate allegations of 'shadow flipping' in Vancouver's hot housing market. Then in April it launched a special investigation into New Coast Realty for a range of alleged violations.

NDP MLA David Eby says the decision to reappoint two members of the Real Estate Council of B.C. sends the wrong message. (CBC)

Stability and continuity needed

A spokesperson for the government defended the appointments.

"The two council members who are being reappointed are well qualified and bring important skills and attributes to the board," said Finance Ministry spokesman Jamie Edwardson.

"A number of important changes are anticipated that will bring new leadership and change to the regulator and the industry," he said. "In this context, some stability and continuity on the board is also important."

The real estate council's advisory group has been tasked with investigating the practice of 'shadow flipping.' (RECBC)

Neither Squires nor Mignosa are licensed real estate agents. Squires's online profile says she is an organizational consultant, mediator and trainer with her own firm. Mignosa's online profile says she is a senior financial executive and currently working as the CFO with a Ministry of Health agency.

Edwardson said members of the council are normally appointed first for a one-year term, and then later reappointed for two- and then three-year terms, for a total of six years.

The Real Estate Council of B.C. oversees conduct of companies and realtors in the province. It recently came under intense criticism for failing to crackdown on the so-called practice of shadow flipping and other questionable practices by it's members.

There are up to 17 members on the board. Three are appointed by the province. Thirteen others are elected by realtors, and one is elected to represent strata and rental property managers.

The Ministry of Finance said the third government appointed position on council is still open.

With files from Farrah Merali