The judge presiding over the Competition Bureau’s case against the Toronto Real Estate Board has refused the board’s request for him to step down. TREB’s lawyer had argued that Justice Paul Crampton should not hear the case as he was a private practice lawyer at a firm which worked on a previous anti-competiveness case against the board in 2002. However the chief justice of the Federal Court ruled that he could not be considered biased based on just a few telephone calls with the appellant in that case.

The case is now proceeding with the competition watchdog aiming to compel TREB to allow its members to post its sales data on password-protected websites. Although the bureau says that the restrictions are harming innovation TREB argues that it has a duty to protect the data of consumers and that freely publishing the required data would breach Canada’s privacy laws.

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