The tough Aitken gave no reason for the departure, but her move to step down will allow her to spend more time with family in Toronto.
POLL question: Will Aitken's departure end the Bureau's fight with Realtors?
She will leave having successfully fought some high-profile battles, including suing Visa and Mastercard over credit-card fees. She also tried to block a joint venture between Air Canada and United Continental Holdings.
Her high-profiled disagreement with Realtors has been just as charged, with the September hearing centred on Aitken’s charge that policies of the real estate board have had a “stifling effect on innovation, all to the detriment of consumers and brokers.”
The bureau is expected to argue for direct consumer access to seller information, without a Realtor as go-between.
Toronto Realtors are fighting back, saying giving out these details would threaten the “privacy and safety” of their clients.
In 2010, Aitken reached a settlement with the Canadian Real Estate Association over its online MLS listings, which included allowing for-sale-by-owner listings to be posted to Realtor.ca.
The Competition Bureau, an independent agency, called Aitken a “tough enforcer and a vigorous proponent of protecting and promoting the forces of competition.”
In a statement, the bureau said she “seized the opportunity . . . to make a difference in the lives of Canadians by ensuring that Canadian competition laws are respected.”
There is no word yet on who Aitken’s replacement will be.
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