Commentary: Misguided attempt to avoid ‘racist’ tag has made life harder for Vancouverites

In a bid to avoid being called racist, Canadian authorities have instead bequeathed a worsening fiscal and market environment upon hopeful home owners in Vancouver by pursuing misguided policies that focused on making the city more attractive to foreigners.
Writing for the Vancouver Sun, diversity and migration columnist Douglas Todd stated that the Canada Revenue Agency and Immigration Canada did not accomplish their mandate of protecting “Metro Vancouver residents from forms of rule-bending and law-breaking that have been significant contributors to city housing becoming gravely unaffordable.”
“[One] way or another … those responsible for immigration and taxation have been encouraging their staff to look the other way while subterfuge has contributed to housing prices becoming ridiculous,” Todd explained.
“Such failures happen when politicians insist too strongly on de-regulation and ‘cutting red tape’ and when they are more committed to making it easier for outside wealth to enter the city’s housing market than they are to protecting constituents.”
The prolonged existence of this laid-back environment has allowed practices such as money laundering via high-end properties and wholesale tax evasion to flourish. Todd argued that this should be considered the main motivating factor for the rise of the intense bidding wars that have inflated Vancouver prices to unprecedented levels.
“Because of the absence of cooperation, many Metro house owners have been avoiding paying capital gains taxes. They have been falsely claiming they are residents of Canada for tax and immigration purposes when they are actually mostly living outside the country and not disclosing their foreign income.”
“My simple hope is to show that Canadian and B.C. politicians must, at the minimum, enforce their own laws and standards,” Todd concluded. “Otherwise they’re not representing their constituents. And public trust is gone.”

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  • by LanceH 2016-11-16 9:15:51 AM

    I take issue with the author labeling the Gov's conduct as "deregulation". Ignoring laws isn't deregulation. Ignoring laws is illegal, it's a Breach of Trust - a chargeable offence. Deregulation is when Gov's redact laws through the parliamentary process. They have nothing to do with each other and such lines shouldn't be blurred.

  • by M 2016-11-16 11:15:42 AM

    And what about Vancouver realtors who scheme for nativists to 'opt for the stability of the district'? Are such euphemisms, intended to exclude Chinese people, really acceptable after all?

  • by Van realtor 2016-11-16 2:13:00 PM

    Kudos to the author!

    Thought it was only I that never really understood all those government (and Developer) junkets to China to promote an already overheated Vancouver market as a 'desirable real estate investment'! Now a quick about-face and outright bail on foreign buyers (by way of taxes) once things got out of control and the masses began speaking out. (Oh Right, Election coming-up!)

    Even now it appears many developers have also bailed on Foreign seems that those same Foreign Buyers that supported cash rich Vancouver developers over those many years are NOT being permitted (by some developers) to assign their contracts for fear that the CCRA will come after developers for 'Tax avoidance' in respect to the new foreign buyers tax!

    I suspect and hope that this group of buyers will remember how they've been treated by both Government and Developers!

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