The president of Toronto’s real estate board warned leaders of the Ontario Real Estate Association, headed by a former Progressive Conservative leader, to “stay in their lane” in an emphatic letter that relays his concerns that the provincial group is stoking fears about the housing market and becoming too political.
In a letter obtained by The Canadian Press, Tim Syrianos tells the president of the Ontario Real Estate Association — whose chief executive is long-time Tory Tim Hudak — that the organization should turn its focus away from political contests and affordability in the Greater Toronto Area, and stick to its mandate to promote the province’s housing market as a whole.
“It is misguided and ill-advised to attempt to supplant TREB and overtake our expertise and well-respected voice in our marketplace simply for media headlines and political gain,” Syrianos wrote in the letter to OREA president David Reid.
Syrianos expressed concern about the “Ontario Realtor Party,” an OREA campaign that, according to the provincial organization, supports “all political parties and politicians that support the Canadian dream of home ownership.”
He also expressed his discontent with OREA’s plan to use the campaign to endorse specific politicians on billboard advertisements — something he sees as a direct violation of his board’s mandate to promote policies, not people.
OREA is a provincial organization that represents members of Ontario’s local real estate boards, of which TREB is the largest. The Toronto chapter accounts for 50,000 of the 70,000 OREA members in the province.
The letter is dated May 7, just days before the writ was dropped in Ontario`s provincial election, to be held June 7. It also comes during the busiest real estate season of the year, one that is much slower in Toronto than the same time last year, after a number of since-implemented provincial and federal policies have had a cooling effect on the market.
Syrianos lambasted OREA for using members’ dues on the Ontario Realtor Party campaign without their knowledge or consent, and asked OREA for a breakdown of the costs.