Protectionism not the answer to Canada’s ills
Re: Laws on speculation
Mr. Rusland believes only Canadian citizens living in Canada should be able to acquire property and businesses and goes on to speculate that offshore money is simply being laundered in Canada due to lax laws.
That the acquisition of property and business should only be done by resident Canadians is protectionism to the Nth degree. Money, like people, needs to flow into this exceptionally large country to keep the economy afloat. One needs only look south of the 49th to see what happens to the economic drivers when tariffs and protectionism is even hinted at. We live in more of a global village than ever before. It is so much a part of our fabric of life, one can’t go back to protectionist ways.
Yes, Vancouver housing prices have risen considerably. But it isn’t only due to foreign buyers. Vancouver is land constrained, just like Victoria. The idea of stopping investment is not the answer, if one wants affordable housing. It is not a simple matter of supply and demand either. The answer isn’t simply more housing. It is the supply of the right type of product.
We live in a capitalistic society. Therefore, developers and investors seek the best returns for their investment; as do the people who sell their property to developers, or to the next homeowner. There is nothing wrong with that if you believe in capitalism. However, if one wants to socially engineer affordable housing then the best solution is to incentivize developers and investors to create it with tax incentives in exchange for that type of housing.
Mr. Rusland is also wrong about money laundering. All activities related to the laundering of money are illegal. Therefore developers, lenders and even realtors must go through a process commonly referred to as KYC: Know Your Client.
Peter D. Morris