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March 26, 2010

The Canadian Real Estate Association has struck back and accused Melanie Aitken, the Commissioner of Competition, of ‘tarnishing’ the reputation of CREA’s 98,000 members with her comments about the anti-competitiveness of the industry, according to a letter obtained by the Financial Post.

The post reports the two page letter was fired off by new CREA chief Georges Pahud yesterday to Ms. Aitken warning her to stop talking to the media about the case.

One excerpt of the letter reads, “The unfounded allegations made by you tarnish the reputation not only of CREA and its member boards but of all Realtors,”.

Since February, the Canadian Real Estate Association has been hammered by the Canadian Competition Bureau with criticism of anti-competitive behaviour. This newest war of words signals CREA and its new chief are up for a fight.

Today is CREA’s deadline to file its defence with the tribunal over the bureau’s accusations. The letter sent yesterday says a compromise is still possible but issues a stern warning that CREA is prepared to fight the case.

“CREA is fully prepared to and would welcome the opportunity to deal with this case before the Competition Tribunal,” says Mr. Pahud. “What CREA is not prepared to do, however, is to litigate the case in the media. CREA asks that you refrain from doing so.”

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