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Letters to the Editor: FINTRAC legislation a mess

What a mess. I speak of the draconian and ugly FINTRAC legislation that Prime Minister Harper passed in 2008. It is a total flop. One hundred and ten thousand members of CREA along with thousands of other small business persons were mandated by law to carry out secretive legislation to “spy for the state”, all in a shroud of secrecy. Harper sent the RCMP to hold meetings with the Realtors. When a Realtor asked, “What if I don’t comply?” the RCMP said, “We will arrest you.”  The RCMP stated, “We will do the best we can to protect your identity.” What a farce that was. They can’t even protect themselves from all their scandals.

You only bumped into the secretive legislation when you bought or sold real estate using a Realtor. Failure to comply would mean $2-million fines, jail time or both. The RCMP and CSIS were both involved in that legislation right up to their ears.

FINTRAC is in my opinion totally the wrong method to gather intelligence for Harper’s fascist state. Today the rules are even more dangerous. Realtors are now forced to track their clients forever and assess a risk factor to their clients, all in a shroud of secrecy.

Ironically, the multinationals selling real estate are exempt from the legislation, as are For Sale By Owners.

Clearly if you want the citizens to help fight crime you don’t do it with this kind of blunt instrument. The proper way would be to do what Canada Revenue does, with a type of whistle-blower legislation. That works well for them, with no risk to the citizen who is trying to be helpful, and some small reward for their help upon summary conviction.

Stew Fettes
Century 21 Dome Realty