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

by Ephraim Vecina16 Nov 2016
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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