May 15, 2016 | Sarah Macdonald
Quoted from the article:
NDP housing critic David Eby believes the petition is a great way to get the federal government talking about the issue.
“The federal government’s responsibility is very clear, so they do need to be involved in managing international speculation in our real estate market,” said Eby.
“When you have a real estate market that doesn’t serve the local economy, you have to start asking who is it serving? What is it dealing with?”
These are questions governments in Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore have also grappled with. All have imposed restrictions on the properties non-residents can acquire.
The local petition asks Ottawa to research these strategies, as well as to gather data on vacant homes and offshore investments in Canada.
“If you’re paying taxes in B.C., and you’re buying property, that’s fine,” said Eby. “The concern is the people who aren’t paying taxes, who are buying properties and driving up values.”
These are all concerns fueling a polarizing debate about the purpose of Canadian homes.
“These are the people we’re hoping to stay here, start businesses, start families. Help build our local economy,” said Eby. “There are lots of potential solutions. I just wish [the provincial government] would get going on it.”