January 11, 2022

30 Seconds on 30 Years with Doug Leighton

In celebration of our 30th Anniversary, we (virtually) sat down with a few of our past chairs to take stock of their time with the Foundation, and the impact the Foundation has on the real estate industry and Alberta.

Hear from Doug Leighton, RPP MCIP MRAIC, Chair of the Board from 2020 to 2021, and Principal of EDG Associates.

How many years were you involved with the Foundation?

I joined the Board of the Foundation in 2015 as a Public Member representing the business sector and was re-appointed in 2017 when I joined the Governance Committee. I was elected Chair in early 2020—just in time for Covid!

Why did you get involved?

In 2013 I returned to Calgary after eleven years working as a planner and urban designer in New Zealand and BC. I reconnected with Gary Willson, who was Chair of the Foundation at the time. I was impressed by the good things the Foundation was doing and didn’t hesitate when Gary suggested that I volunteer.

Do you have any favorite projects funded in your time as Chair?

Tough call, but I’d say the Condominium Law Education Project. This touches on several areas of our mandate under the Real Estate Act. It helps advance property and condominium management; one of four real estate Industry groups under the Act. It helps Albertans purchase condos and serve on condo Boards. The Foundation had previously funded the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta and knew they would deliver an excellent and much-needed program.

From your perspective, what is the Foundation’s greatest accomplishment over the years?

Three things:

  • First, it has benefited the real estate industry (residential/ commercial/ mortgage brokers plus property and condominium managers) by investing in projects and initiatives across Alberta.
  • Second, this has been achieved at no cost to taxpayers.
  • Finally, it has responded to the changing needs and priorities of industry and Albertans over the years.

What impact has the Foundation had on Alberta and the industry?

It’s contributed to Alberta’s success—whether you measure that in economic, environmental, or social terms. Real estate is about ‘real property and assets,’ that is, land and buildings. How we plan, develop, sell, buy, lease, finance, and manage real estate is important. A high-functioning real estate market has been part of the ‘Alberta Advantage.’ I’m certain it will be part of its recovery.

The Foundation supports the real estate industry by funding the education of related professionals, law reform, research, and projects and activities to advance and improve all four industry sectors. Part of our impact has been to sponsor thought leadership, innovations, and initiatives that demonstrate the benefits of real estate to Albertans.

Thank you, Doug!

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