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Housing critic accuses the premier of turning a blind eye to tax evaders

Last Updated Sep 12, 2016 at 8:07 am PDT

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Summary

BC NDP says the provincial government could do more to help curb the hot real estate market

David Eby says there is a shortage of provincial auditors to enforce the new tax

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – BC NDP Housing Critic David Eby is taking direct aim at the premier, accusing Christy Clark and her government of turning a blind eye when it comes to fraud and tax evasion in Metro Vancouver’s white-hot real estate market.

“Some of the acute concerns that I have, that the BC NDP has about escalating allegations of tax evasion, fraud and money laundering in the Metro Vancouver real estate market and the apparent indifference of our provincial government to those rising concerns,” said Eby at a news conference over the weekend.

His comments came in response to a Globe and Mail story that accused the province and Canada Revenue Agency of ignoring whistle-blowers trying to shed light on various schemes involving residential real estate.

Eby is also taking issue with the 15 per cent tax on foreign home buyers that went into effect on August 2nd. He says it may seem fine on paper but he feels with a shortage of provincial auditors to enforce the rules, it’s virtually useless right now.

As for Finance Minister Mike de Jong’s assertion that tax evasion is a federal issue, Eby says the provincial government could do something if it wanted to. “We have heard some very reasonable suggestions that real estate transaction data could be linked up to income tax data held by the province to identify people that are buying properties with no apparent source of legitimate income.”

But he says that’s not being done. And Eby says he’s worried the province will continue to do nothing, unless the Federal Government takes action first.