Shirley Bond

Vancouver: Today, Finance Minister Carole James failed to draw any connection between the Speculation Tax and housing prices.

John Horgan and the NDP are sticking with a deeply flawed Speculation Tax that has done little to improve vacancy rates and unfairly targets British Columbians. In addition, local mayors in affected communities have expressed deep concerns that the NDP continues to ignore.

“We have locally elected mayors telling John Horgan that the Speculation Tax is not working in their communities and that it is reducing the construction of new and affordable homes for families,” says Finance Co-Critic and Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond. “Projects have been stopped as a result of the Speculation Tax and yet John Horgan and the NDP are willfully ignoring this simple fact at the expense of hardworking British Columbians. It’s bad enough that many of the people stuck paying this tax are British Columbians – something John Horgan promised would never happen.”

“Today I listened to the mayors tell the Finance Minister that this tax isn’t working and is, in fact, having a negative impact on their communities. John Horgan refuses to listen and continues to assert that the NDP government knows best,” says Finance Co-Critic and Surrey-White Rock MLA Tracy Redies. “We are hearing from mayors that this tax is disrupting regional development plans and actually slowing the growth of home building in communities – exactly the opposite of how John Horgan sold this tax to British Columbians. The Premier should do what the mayors are asking and allow them the option to opt in or out of the Speculation Tax.”

Analysis by the Royal Bank of Canada indicates that the cost of housing continues to be out of reach for 88 per cent of families in Metro Vancouver.