BC Greens piling pressure on NDP to ban foreign buyers in budget

By ThinkPol Staff

The BC Green Party is piling pressure on the NDP minority government its propping up to follow New Zealand’s example and restrict foreign real estate ownership in the province in the upcoming budget.

“Recently, we proposed we follow the lead of many other jurisdictions across the world, such as New Zealand, by restricting non-resident ownership of real estate,” Adam Olsen, Green MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, said in a release today[1]http://adamolsen.bcgreencaucus.ca/we-love-british-columbia/. “We have also been proposing other solutions to restrict the impact of global capital and clamp down on speculation.”

Premier John Horgan had earlier rejected Green leader Andrew Weaver’s call for a ban on foreign buyers in the provinces hot housing markets.

“BC’s the gateway to Canada and I don’t believe we should be curbing people from coming here,” Premier Horgan told reporters. “I’m a child of an immigrant and virtually everyone I see here is a child of an immigrant.”

Olsen described the response from British Columbians to the Greens’ proposal to restrict foreign ownership as “overwhelming.”

“A vast majority of the responses have been from people who have an intense love for British Columbia,” he said. “BC is our home, but many people are feeling that they must leave their home communities, or even leave the province altogether to find economic opportunity in a place they can afford to live. As a result, we are hearing a variety of emotions from anger and frustration to deep sadness.”

“It is difficult to read the messages British Columbians are distressed by the empty homes in their neighbourhoods and the hollowing out of their communities,” he added. “Coupled with a lack of meaningful action from their government, people are fed up.

“Government has a responsibility to protect the vibrancy and life of our communities,” the rookie MLA reminded voters. “People of all walks of life should be able to live and thrive here.”

“Government said they will address the housing crisis in the budget next month,” he said. “They have committed to both increase the supply of housing and address the impact that speculation is having on house prices.”

“Now, in advance of the budget, we are keeping the pressure on the NDP, making sure that they know that millions of British Columbians are counting on them to deliver on these promises,” Olsen reassured supporters.

BC Greens are supporting the NDP minority government under a confidence and supply agreement.

The agreement binds the NDP government to “make housing more affordable by increasing supply of affordable housing and take action to deal with the speculation and fraud that is driving up prices.”

[Photo Credit: BC Greens]

References   [ + ]

1. http://adamolsen.bcgreencaucus.ca/we-love-british-columbia/

7 Responses to BC Greens piling pressure on NDP to ban foreign buyers in budget

  1. nonconfidencevote says:

    Good luck with that.
    Legions of Lawyers will merely form Legal Canadian entities aka Companies that will by home, property, etc.
    For every Law……there is a loophole.
    Also. BC is a Province of Canada.
    Until Canada bans foreign ownership( and with the current Politically Correct Liberal govt….aint gonna happen ) anything BC does is a waste of time……..

  2. Notaname says:

    It can be done in Canada. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/real-estate-rules-don-t-discriminate-against-foreigners-1.1216517
    Most provinces treat foreign homebuyers the same as local residents. One exception is P.E.I., which imposes higher property taxes on anyone who is not a resident of the island — not just foreigners — and forbids them from owning more than five acres of land or 50 metres of waterfront without special permission from the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission.

    • nonconfidencevote says:

      Yeah the PEI “foreign Ownership” rules came into effect in the late 60’s early 70’s due to US citzens buying up all the good waterfront property.

      I owned property in PEI over 10 years ago. Paid double the property tax due to my “nonresident status”.
      I was looking at property in PEI in Sept.
      Wanted to make an offer for a piece of property.
      Realtor wasnt interested unless I was willing to get into a bidding war( sound familiar?)
      Sold sign the next day. I talked to a lawyer friend who mad a few calls.
      Property sold to a numbered company. With Chinese ownership.
      Well, jump to today and sales to Chinese citizens is ramping up in little old PEI in a huge way.
      How you ask?
      Create a company in PEI. The company is a legal entity. Have the company buy the land. Its happening in PEI now. So much for “foreign ownership laws”.
      Make a rule. They’ll break it and not care one bit.
      Case closed.

      • Anonymous says:

        They going tax foreign ownership. As long foreigners can pay the tax, it’s fine. They will take the new source of tax revenue and put it back into the community. It will be 2% of assessment value. Even if there is loopholes, someone has to pay the tax. If tax is not paid, then there is a lien against the property. This is actually more effective than banning foreign buyer. Rich foreigners can invest in a $3M property, but if they don’t pay the $60K in speculation tax plus property tax, their investment will be legally seized.

  3. Scott Johnstone says:

    Do we have solid statistics confirming that foreign ownership is a bigger problem than empty housing units in general? Last I read, there were more empty housing units in BC owned by Canadian investors than there are owned by foreign investors.

    The problem doesn’t seem to be foreign ownership, so much as the general practice of leaving homes empty for resale purposes, by both foreign and domestic owners.

    Focusing only on foreign ownership sends the message that the party is fostering xenophobic ideology. Obviously that’s not the case, so let’s not leave voters with that impression.

    Logic dictates that we should be pursuing a ban on empty homes, regardless of who owns them.

    • nonconfidencevote says:

      Fair enough.
      But stats can be “gamed” by either side.
      The federal Liberal’s have been rumoured to have spent $40 million in hush money to stymie the “foreign ownership” issue.

      Right now> I wouldnt trust anyone to give me stats.
      My own personal expeirence on BOTH coasts has been one of mainland chinese legally “gaming the system” to their advantage.
      Is it legal?
      Yes.
      Is it winning them any friends other than the people they are making rich?
      Absolutely not.
      I’m disgusted with every level of govt for allowing this to happen and for the realtors, lawyers and beaurocrats for assisting in every way possible.
      And I may be one person but EVERYONE i talk to is LIVID about this!
      But lets keep pretending we’re a happy happy populace of sheeple willing to eat whatever is shovelled at us in the media.
      No.
      Voters are dsigusted with the status quo and will elect “anyone but them”……
      And people wonder how in God’s name Donald Trump was elected……

  4. preconfederation says:

    It appears John Horgan is a trying to be Nation Builder, just not ours. If he so interested in everyone’s rights, why not start with First Nations, since the majority of land is owned by them. It’s time to pay land taxes to the real owners. Vancouver is unceded territory, so I’m thinking foreign ownership means residents don’t own the land they squat on (unlawfully occupy) – check the Canadian Constitution. Then send a letter to all Realtors that they have been misrepresenting land ownership.

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