Wilkinson’s plan to cancel the speculation tax would hurt people, says Finance Minister James

Carole James

ON Wednesday in Question Period, BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson called on the BC NDP government to cancel its tax on non-resident real estate speculators, asking Finance Minister Carole James to “shrink it to be completely disappeared.”
“Andrew Wilkinson still doesn’t understand the challenges faced by hardworking British Columbians trying to afford to buy a home or pay their rent,” said James. “If he was interested in helping young British Columbians afford a home, he would support this measure instead of standing up for speculators, offshore billionaires, and the top 1%.”
When James read aloud an email sent in by a British Columbian who supports the speculation tax, West Vancouver-Capilano MLA Ralph Sultan responded: “Clearly the Minister is not reading my email flow.”
A recent study shows that more than half of the homes in Sultan’s West Vancouver municipality are worth over $3 million – far more than any other Metro Vancouver community.
Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness described the measure as “an asset tax on ordinary people.” In fact, the only British Columbians impacted by the tax are those with a second (or third or fourth) home that is vacant, worth more than $400,000, and located in one of the designated urban areas. The Ministry of Finance estimates less than 1% of British Columbians will be affected.
“The BC Liberals may think it’s ordinary to own multiple empty homes, but most young families would be grateful to afford one,” said James. “Andrew Wilkinson would take B.C. back to a time when real estate speculators called the shots and British Columbians paid for it. That’s wrong.”