BC Government Appoints Nine Public-Interest Members to Real Estate Council

New council members are heavily weighted against real estate industry professionals in order to "increase accountability and objectivity, and protect public interest"

October 13, 2016

Mike de Jong and Robert Holmes
BC finance minster Mike de Jong with Real Estate Council of BC chair Robert Holmes


The BC Government has appointed nine new members of the Real Estate Council of BC – a group that is heavily weighted against real estate industry professionals, the provincial government announced October 12.

These public-interest members will “increase [the council’s] accountability and objectivity in fulfilling its role of protecting the public interest,” stated a provincial press release.

The new appointments follow news in June that the BC government was ending the industry’s right to self-regulate, following a series of media reports alleging malpractice. 

The new council chair is Robert Holmes, a lawyer at Holmes & King and former president of the BC Civil Liberties Association and Trial Lawyers Association of BC

Of the eight other new members, only three are linked to the real estate and development industry. The new members are:

  • John Daly, a former journalist at Global BC;
  • Rob Gialloreto, president and CEO of Consumer Protection BC;
  • Sandra Heath, president of HTD Inc, a consulting company;
  • Gerald Martin, managing broker of B.C. Farm and Ranch Realty Corp. and council member between 2006 and 2012;
  • Elana Mignosa, CFO of British Columbia Clinical and Support Services, and a council member since 2015;
  • Sukh Sidhu, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Little Oak Realty;
  • W. Tom Styffe, a construction project management expert; and
  • Maili Wong, VP at CIBC Wood Gundy.

BC finance minister Mike de Jong said, “As consumers, we expect to be treated fairly and with integrity, especially when making the important decision to purchase a home. These changes are part of government’s broader efforts to restore public confidence and trust in the system.”

The BC government statement added, “Self-regulation of the industry is ended with these appointments. A second set of government-appointed members will follow.”

Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condo, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 22 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio.
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