Foreign buying of Vancouver real estate—beware the siren call of sovereignty

Posted by Michael La Prairie on Tuesday, June 12th, 2018 at 9:36am.

Foreign buying of Vancouver real estate—beware the siren call of sovereignty

In the ongoing debate over Metro Vancouver’s housing challenges, the Vancouver Sun’s populist columnist, Douglas Todd, has once again played the nationalism card.

In his latest commentary, Todd warns that Canadian sovereignty is under threat from a lawsuit filed by some foreigners against the British Columbia government for imposing a tax on their purchase of homes in parts of the province.

The NDP-Green party alliance government recently raised the tax to 20 percent and expanded where it will be applied. It started in Metro Vancouver at 15 percent in August 2016 under the previous B.C. Liberal government.

Who can argue against the sovereignty cause when the housing story is often framed as an unfair contest between Canada’s hard-pressed middle class and the invading horde of wealthy foreigners?

Certainly, the B.C. government is well within its right to impose without warning a tax on foreigners buying real estate—and just about anything—within the province.

This is what sovereignty is about. Case closed if we accept the argument presented by Todd and his allies. 

Not so fast. 


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