Competition watchdog demands violate privacy: board
TORONTO — The Toronto Real Estate Board said Friday that privacy laws and the quality of the association’s property listing system are jeopardized by the federal competition commissioner’s demand that TREB’s database be opened up to online access. The comments are a response to an updated lawsuit filed by competition watchdog Melanie Aitken late Thursday, in which she said that the board’s rules on password-protected websites would still be anti-competitive despite proposed changes to allow consumers to browse more information themselves. The Competition Bureau’s amended case claims that the way TREB intends to supervise those sites — called virtual office websites or VOW — would still prevent agents from making key historical data available online.
“The Commissioner is pressuring TREB to go further to release private data about individual consumers openly on the Internet,” said Toronto Real Estate Board president Richard Silver.
“TREB believes that would be reckless and, in fact, a violation of the law.”
Western provinces back Ottawa on Wheat Board
SAINT ANDREWS, N.B. — Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia are backing the federal government’s plan to end the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly on wheat and barley sales.
Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud says farmers spend their own money on land and machinery to grow grain, so they should get to decide how they sell it. The three western-most provinces threw their support behind Ottawa at the annual agriculture ministers meeting in Saint Andrews, N.B. Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says the board’s control over wheat and barley sales has to go if the grain industry is to grow stronger. Manitoba still opposes the move.