Issue: Housing, an update

October 2017

For those who write to ask about housing:

Thank you for writing to me about housing issues. As you know, I have worked for many years on the challenges in housing in British Columbia, from homelessness, to the serious and credible allegations of money laundering and tax evasion in the BC real estate market, particularly in the Lower Mainland.

In my role as Attorney General, I have taken action on allegations of money laundering in BC casinos by appointing Peter German, a former RCMP deputy inspector, and author of Canada’s leading legal textbook on anti-money laundering law, to conduct an investigation into the matter and make recommendations to me.

Important to your query, I have asked Mr. German to advise me immediately if he determines through his review of casino allegations whether he identifies connections to any other area of BC’s economy, including real estate, with recommendations on how to address any identified problems.

In addition to initiating Mr. German’s investigation, I sit on the new government’s Housing Cabinet Committee, where I am supporting my colleagues in their work on several initiatives related to increasing affordable housing supply, but also, and just as importantly, addressing the toxic speculation, money laundering and tax evasion which we know is taking place in the Lower Mainland.

Reform is urgently and critically important, on both the demand and supply sides of the equation, but it’s important to know that complicated legal changes are required.

These matters remain a priority for us, and we are working on them – we have been in power for just twelve weeks. Our goal is carefully prepared, effective policy, legislation, and enforcement that will address the concerns of many people in our community about the various activities in our housing market that have gone on for years without interruption.

While your patience is appreciated, I understand strongly your sense of urgency and share it. Thank you very much for writing to me.

Yours truly,

David Eby

MLA, Vancouver Point Grey