Tories look to borrow a page from Australian playbook

by John Tenpenny15 Oct 2015
As voters get ready to head to the polls on Monday, investors are still being wooed by the incumbent Conservatives who are promising to consider a ban on foreign investors who to buy existing residential housing in tight markets such as Toronto and Vancouver, an idea they’ve borrowed from their counterparts down under.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper floated the idea in his party’s full election platform, which was just released, that a re-elected Conservative government would consider an Australian-style solution to the issue.

“Given the importance of home ownership, our government wants to make sure it remains a dream within reach for the average Canadian family,” read the platform.

“Some reports have suggested that speculative foreign non-resident buyers are a significant factor in driving homes out of the price range of average families, especially in Vancouver and Toronto. If speculators are driving up the cost of housing to unaffordable levels, that’s something the government can and should address.

“Other countries, like Australia, have put in place regulations that limit the ability of foreign buyers to purchase existing houses for investment purposes.”

The Australian policy is supposed to prevent wealthy foreign buyers from driving the price of average homes beyond the reach of Australian families, while at the same time growing the country’s housing stock.

But not everyone agrees this policy works, pointing out that Sydney’s housing market is equally unaffordable as Vancouver’s.

“We’re not intending to zero in a punitive way on people who come here to invest,” B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong told The Vancouver Sun. “Our general approach in building the economy has been that foreign investment is good for B.C.”
 

COMMENTS

  • by Helmut 10/15/2015 6:45:23 PM

    Yeah. Those foreigners. Why can't they just send their money, then vanish. We don't like foreigners, except of course when they send money. Please send lots.

  • by Monica Wright 10/15/2015 11:16:31 PM

    Canada is being sold to foreign investors. People do not realize or care about the horrible impact this is having. We are becoming a minority
    very quickly. And in some areas we are already. All people want is SHOW ME THE MONEY.
    Go into 90% of the variety stores, gas stations, motels. All owned and operated by folks who have come here from someplace else.
    And their employee's are from the same country, so there is no employment being generated for the born here Canadian.
    As a former business owner, I understand, as I would hire people whose last name ended with SKI before Smith , hoping to get someone who would actually work for their paycheck. This was not discrimination, it was survival for me.
    I believe we have destroyed generations of people with an easy life. giving them everything without them having to earn anything.
    I believe there should be an at least 25% charge for anyone outside of Canada wishing to purchase property here.
    THANK YOU STEVEN HARPER FOR HAVING VALUE FOR OUR COUNTRY.

  • by Helmut 10/16/2015 12:44:50 PM

    Monica, plain and simple: you are a fascist. Canada above all in the world, eh? Don't you think we should charge them darn foreigners 100% of their money and NOT let them into Canada? That'll teach them! Those bad people. We don't like foreigners, except of course when they send money. Please send lots.

Poll

Is a Toronto foreign sales tax a good idea?