Petition calls for housing speculation tax in BC budget and crackdown on money laundering, shady realtors

By ThinkPol Staff

A petition has been launched to urge British Columbia’s NDP-led government to introduce a housing speculation tax along with a special taskforce to crackdown on money laundering and unethical practices by realtors in Metro Vancouver’s real estate market.

Petitioner Raymond Wong, appeals to Premier John Horgan, Finance Minister Carole James, Attorney General David Eby and Housing Minister Selina Robinson, among others, to implement a raft of measures to address the housing crisis plaguing the region in the upcoming provincial budget slated for February 20[1]https://www.change.org/p/carole-james-proposed-housing-measures-to-the-provincial-government-of-b-c?recruiter=299062209&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=share_twitter_responsive.

The Burnaby, BC resident gained prominence as the author of the mostly successful federal House of Commons petition E-281, which called for collecting data on the impact of foreign buyers and offshore money in the region’s housing market[2]https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/En/Petition/Details?Petition=e-281.

“Similar to the petition I started 2 years ago for E-281, I started this petition because many of my friends have either moved away, thinking about moving or still at home living with their parents and cannot start a family,” Wong told ThinkPol. “I consider myself lucky as I got in early but it saddens me to see many locals being priced out and I worry about the future generation which includes my son.”

“In my opinion, Vancouver is becoming a resort town, a playground for the ultra rich, white collar criminals like money launderers, tax evasion and speculators as it is starting to become a ghost city particularly on the West side and Vancouver West,” Wong added. “Schools are in danger of being shut down, locals being taxed out, high cost of living, families taking on second jobs, young professionals seeking opportunities elsewhere, stagnant wages, business closures, etc are some of the reasons what motivated me in writing this petition.”

Wong is part of the non-partisan grassroots group Housing Action for Local Taxpayers (HALT), which has been pressuring all levels of Canadian government to address the housing crisis in Metro Vancouver.

Wong expressed his cautious optimism about the upcoming budget.

“I am hopeful that the NDP will listen, however, we have seen in the past that the government can say one thing and completely do something else,” he said. “Cancelling toll bridges, stronger economy, MSP cuts are not going to make housing more affordable; housing measures are needed.”

“I believe that the NDP government got elected because of housing affordability promises from the 2017 election where the NDP has gotten majority of the seats in the Lower Mainland,” he added. “People want ‘action’ now and because the NDP is making the locals wait till the Feb. 20th budget, people will expect more from them.”

Wong dismissed the notion that all homeowners are tacitly in favour of keeping the housing bubble inflated.

“I, myself am an owner and I don’t mind losing most of my equity so my son, friend’s son, family can stay here in Vancouver,” he said.

The NDP came to power on a platform[3]https://www.bcndp.ca/sites/default/files/platform-book-v2-updated.pdf that included most of the measures being called for in the petition.

We will tax speculation in our housing market.People who buy property in BC but don’t live or work here and leave their property empty will be charged a two per cent tax on speculation. All revenue collected will go into our BC Housing Affordability Fund.”

We’ll close the loopholes that let speculators dodge taxes and hide their identities and we’ll require them to pay their fair share of tax on their empty houses through a yearly two per cent absentee speculators’ tax

We’ll direct the revenue from the absentee speculators’ tax into a Housing Affordability Fund. This fund will support housing affordability initiatives for British Columbians.

We will also establish a multi-agency task force to fight tax fraud and money laundering in the BC real estate marketplace

Wong feels that the NDP government’s survival will depend on listening to the people and fulfilling the promises made during the campaign.

“I am hoping that the NDP will listen and read my petition,” he concluded. “In my opinion, I feel if the NDP doesn’t come through with the housing measures, they’ll be one and done in the next election.”

References   [ + ]

1. https://www.change.org/p/carole-james-proposed-housing-measures-to-the-provincial-government-of-b-c?recruiter=299062209&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=share_twitter_responsive
2. https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/En/Petition/Details?Petition=e-281
3. https://www.bcndp.ca/sites/default/files/platform-book-v2-updated.pdf

8 Responses to Petition calls for housing speculation tax in BC budget and crackdown on money laundering, shady realtors

  1. Peach Akerhielm says:

    Is there some way you can make it easy to click through into the petition site at change.org? I had to paste the first reference in to get taken there.

  2. Ted says:

    I agree, the once issue that needs to be addressed is housing affordability.NDP was brought into power for that specific reason. I own my house and most of my family does and none of us would mind if we lost half the equity to ensure everyones kids can stay in this city.

  3. Heather says:

    Thank you for all your efforts, Raymond. I appreciate the petition. It’s horrific, yet I appreciate David Eby’s current efforts within the NDP. Let’s hope Horgan will act on Eby’s investigations into money laundering and the casinos and the corruption fueled by mainland Chinese readily purchasing Vancouver property, all at the expense of locals. As Robertson so insensitively stated in the Metro paper recently, … housing has shot through the roof, the ship has sailed for Vancouverites, if they haven’t already bought. All thanks to non-action based on both the Prov and Fed Gov’ts. Gee, thanks for the insight. Meanwhile there is/was an article in a mag featuring Robertson’s downtown 2 bedroom, 2 story Penthouse featuring its’ sustainable features (all wood, stone and granite, etc). Meanwhile, Mr. ‘No Homelessness by …’ doesn’t have to live in an RV or a tent. I don’t know why Carol James says there won’t be any ban on foreign buyers, but it had better be for good reason. We are losing Vancouver before our very eyes. Clark and Robertson can shift the blame all they want (and seek refuge in retirement – should be locked up instead), but the last government is clearly a big part of the greedy/corrupt business Vancouver is readily being recognized for. Unbelievable, but it is really serious and horrific. Again, thanks for your efforts, the petition, and this article. I am simply chiming in to stir more conversation and hope people will sign and influence Horgan to listen to Weaver – on this very important housing issue.

    • nonconfidencevote says:

      Gregor Robertson is like 99% of most politicians.
      Interested in helping himself at the trough. Nothing more.
      Whats he accomplished?
      Homelessness is up.
      Fentynl deaths are through the roof.
      The street where his former home(now his exwifes) is closed to traffic.
      Traffic is gridlocked 20 hours per day.
      Bike lanes are snow plowed in winter unlike streets or sidewalks.

      Gregor Robertons “legacy” will be viewed as one of the most inept, useless figurheads to stumble from crisis (housing) issue to crisis (overdoses)issue achieving nothing or making matters worse.

      He shouldnt wait til Nov. He should leave now.
      No one would miss him except the lickspittle managers in municipal office that are paid obscene amounts of money to push paper to and fro justifying his social justice agenda…..an expensive, epic failure.

    • Raymond Wong says:

      Thanks for supporting my petition. Remember to e-mail to Minister of Finance Carole James, Premier John Horgan, Attorney General David Eby and meet your local MLA to discuss about housing and this petition. Bring your family along and good luck!

  4. Raymond Wong says:

    Thanks for supporting my petition. E-mail to Minister of Finance Carole James, Premier John Horgan, Attorney General David Eby and meet your local MLA to discuss about housing and this petition. Bring your family along and good luck!

  5. Ron Poirier says:

    I am now living in BC as a non resident because I cannot find a family doctor. I keep my Alberta residence to keep my medical coverage. It is disastrous to add such a tax when you cannot provide me with basic services. Premier Horgan cancel this short sighted tax for Canadians or provide me with basic medical services.

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