From the Sun’s Vaughn Palmer: “Liberals play to electorate with foreign home tax”

Caution is generally seen as a virtue in ministers of finance, particularly on proposals to increase taxes, particularly with the B.C. Liberals.

But in this case (and after much delay) they’ve latched on to a tax increase that should fly with the broad-based electorate, as the only folks paying it, being foreign nationals, are unable to vote.

Moreover it may prove to be a cash cow for a time at least, flowing millions of dollars into the government’s slush … er housing initiative fund.


Oh, to have been the fly on the wall of the cabinet room when this was being discussed.  Or perhaps it was just in the Premier’s office.

What, if any, role was played by the Vancouver Liberal MLAs? They have been notably silent on the most important issues facing their electorate, but perhaps they were lobbying behind the scenes. ‘Get ahold of this issue or we’re toast!’ might have been the convincing motivation.

Regardless of ideological sincerity, now is the time to pressure the government on that ‘housing initiative fund.’  Dollars for non-market housing stopped flowing from senior governments in the 1990s (save for the time the NDP was in power in Victoria).  That’s one big reason for the current crisis in affordability.

Non-profits could quickly come forward with plans; the City has the land available for immediate commitment. If the Province was also at the table, another issue could be addressed with an immediate electoral payback – giving the Liberals cover and taking the urgency of the housing crisis away from the NDP.

What’s not to love?