A real estate agent in Saskatoon has to pay $3,000 after the province’s real estate governing body fined him for allegedly making transphobic comments on social media. 

Realtor Murray Kurternbach made the comments on his public Facebook page last October. The post has since been deleted by Kurternbach.

“I won’t use someone’s pronouns for the same reason I won’t talk to a schizophrenic’s imaginary friends,” read one comment later shared on Reddit. 

Another read, “a good kick in the balls will solve your gender confusion.”

These comments led to Kurtenbach being found guilty of breaching ethics with “conduct that is disgraceful, unprofessional or unbecoming of a registrant in the course of his or her practice.”

According to the June 6 decision, he “published posts on his Facebook page perpetuating transphobia” and “his posts were detrimental to the dignity of the trans community and to the public perception of the professionalism of the real estate industry as a whole.”

The Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission issued its decision after Kurtenbach presented his case before a hearing committee. 

Kurtenbach agreed to the terms of his reprimand, including him having 60 days to “pay to the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission a $3,000 fine for the said violation.” 

The decision concluded that his “registration shall be terminated if he fails to make payment as set out above.”

He also received an official reprimand in addition to the fine. 

True North reached out to Kurtenbach for comment, however he did not respond. 

During his hearing, Kurtenbach said that his posts were intended to be humorous and to show his support of the Saskatchewan government’s parental rights legislation. 

Saskatchewan passed a parental rights bill last fall, which would see parents informed when children under the age of 16 choose to go by a different pronoun while at school. 

“Mr. Kurtenbach alleges that the posts were not intended to offend any person or group, although he now understands that they could have that effect,” reads the decision. 

He was also under the impression that by sharing the posts on his personal Facebook page, that it was not a reflection of him as a member of the Canadian Real Estate Association.

However, Kurtenbach’s broker informed him that “because he shares real estate-related information to that Facebook page, it has become a part of his business page,” the decision continued. “Mr. Kurtenbach realizes now that this issue is one he needs to stand up for personally, not professionally.” 

While this was Kurtenbach’s first time being reprimanded by the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission, it’s not the first time that a realtor has been for misconduct of this kind. 

Realtor Cam Bird was ordered to pay $1,500 in 2022 after he publicly questioned the gender of Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam during the pandemic. 

That commission hearing led to a decision which forced Bird to apologize for his social media post and undergo 2SLGBTQ+ sensitivity training.

Sensitivity training was not included in Kurtenbach’s discipline, however, the commission did say that the complaints it receives do guide its ongoing and future training directives. 

Kurtenbach became a registered real estate agent in 2007 and currently works with Century 21 Fusion.