Who wants your vote today?

Dear [redacted]:
Any first year university macro-economic course will teach that “protectionism” such as you suggest, winds up hurting more than its helps.

I trust that this extensive attached document will help you.

Paul Forseth
Burnaby-New Westminster
www.paulforseth.ca

(The attached extensive document was of course the Conservative Party 2011 platform).  That’s the one reply that Waiting in Burnaby received from the following email sent to all candidates:

Who I vote for will be based solely on this issue.  If each vote matters, then I hope each of you will demonstrate your respect for that principle and cornerstone of democracy, and respond to the issue and concern I have laid out below.  Each party claims to care about Canada, Canadians and the Canadian Family.  I believe and feel passionately and strongly that the issue I detail below affects all three entities.  Do you care that a family of four in Vancouver earning $50,000 per year can’t afford to live in this city?  I heard on CKNW in Vancouver on Friday that it takes 9 average incomes to afford a home in Vancouver where the average price hovers above $1,000,000.

I have voted in every election (municipal, provincial and federal) since I was eligible to vote. This is the first time that I am seriously wondering which party will BEST take care of Canadian interests.

I am in my mid-40s and have lived in Burnaby most of my life.  However, I am watching the community and neighbourhood where I grew up change significantly because of what the federal and provincial governments have failed to do to support Canadians when it comes to the possibility of purchasing a home in the Lower Mainland, or anywhere else they might want to reside in our magnificent country.

It is a known fact – researched, documented and reported – that three things have fueled the run on real estate prices over the past several years – low interest rates, changes to lending practices and an obscene influx of foreign money to purchase Canadian homes.  The first two factors allegedly help Canadians to get into home ownership, which is fine until interest rates begin to rise.  Those Canadians who leveraged themselves to the max to purchase a home because of the government’s monetary policies to keep interest rates artificially low and changes to lending practices, coupled with consumers’ fear that if they didn’t buy now, they would never be able to afford a home likely helped in their decision to purchase.  This is a recipe for disaster.

The third factor that has fueled this abnormally high rise in housing prices has been the influx of foreign money to purchase residential real estate.  Asian real estate agents are organizing bus tours aimed at foreign buyers.  These bus tours travel through Lower Mainland neighbourhoods and it isn’t uncommon for several homes to be purchased by one person or family.  Then the foreign buyer gets back on the plane and goes home.  THIS IS RIDICULOUS.  Canada has no regulations or restrictions concerning home ownership and residency requirements.  You might want to take a look at the US where they do have laws regarding home ownership by non-residents.

As well, it is my understanding that Canadian immigration encourages investment in Canada and expedites the citizenship process for anyone who invests a minimum of $800,000 into Canada, this includes purchasing residential property.  The only one who benefits from this type of investment is the home buyer from the appreciation of the value of the home.  There is no benefit to the Canadian economy, Canadian society or the betterment of Canadian citizens who reside here and contribute through taxes, volunteerism, and other ways that Canadians’ support their communities.

A new factor that will continue to contribute to this madness is that the Chinese government, recognizing the speculation occurring in their residential real estate market, has imposed changes in their laws, which has had a marked effect on prices.  The Chinese government has just given more Asian buyers reason to come to Canada to buy property here.

I heard a news report on Friday about the need for the government to impose restrictions on Netflix as they break into the Canadian market and take marketshare away from other movie providers in Canada.  If the government sees fit to help Canadian businesses stem competition from this American-based, digital provider of movies, then why is it so hesitant to put laws into place which stem this obscene amount of influx and influence on the Canadian residential real estate market by foreign buyers.  Why would the digital on-demand movie rental system require government regulations and restrictions to protect Canadian businesses but Canadian citizens aren’t protected from the unfair playing field in the residential real estate market?

What do you think?  Does this issue play any role in how your voting in the current election?
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nuxfan
nuxfan
9 years ago

@Not much of a name…

In my case, I don't – but fair enough, others need that. If houses go down that low, I can only assume that all properties are going down that low, and if I want to trade up to a house, there will probably be someone eyeballing my condo at 30-40% off current peak as well.

Not much of a name..
Not much of a name..
9 years ago

@nuxfan: But you need someone to buy your property prior to you moving up the ladder.

nuxfan
nuxfan
9 years ago

"You hear this all the time. Ownership is running at about 70%. How many people are actually “waiting in the wings”?"

Anonymous and Drachen:

You are assuming that that all the people waiting in the wings are renters, and forgetting about owners that want to move up. I am an owner (of a condo), but also waiting in the wings, and if a decent SFH ever made it to 500K I'd be all over it – in fact, probably well before that. I know quite a few people that are in my position.

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

@patriotz: ….If there’s one thing you can say about Harper it’s that he puts winning ahead of principles, every time….

Ya, gosh, the Liberals would never do that. My, my folks have short memories!

patriotz
9 years ago

@paradox:

Maybe the cons will really get tough on crime and will give the police the necessary powers to start busting the BC grow ops.

If you had mandatory seizure of any property used as a grow op you'd see them come to an end, pronto.

Landlords have the right to inspect rental properties once a month and you can bet your life if there was mandatory seizure they would do it, diligently. They would also keep an eye out for suspicious activities in between.

chip
chip
9 years ago

@patriotz:

"That’s simply because it has more population than the other traditional have-not provinces combined. "

It's a province blessed with natural resources and 1/3 of our population perpetually receiving money from parts of Canada who only differ in that they govern themselves differently (ie, responsibly).

Btw, among these new NDP MPs are a teenager who planned to work part-time at a golf course this year, some university students and a waitress who spent the latter part of her campaign on vacation in Las Vegas.

We give them $8 billion this year and they give us farce.

patriotz
9 years ago

@chip:

More than half of the NDP’s MPs now come from Quebec (58), a province that this year will receive $8.3 billion out of a total $14 billion in equalization payments.

That's simply because it has more population than the other traditional have-not provinces combined. Per capita it's the second lowest ahead of Ontario which gets only $27 p.c.

Harper used to make a lot of noise about getting rid of equalization in his NCC days, but he's not going to write off his seats in the Prairies and the East Coast (without which the Cons wouldn't have a majority and might well be behind the NDP) on principle. If there's one thing you can say about Harper it's that he puts winning ahead of principles, every time.

jesse
9 years ago

@chip: "Quebec is the poster child for welfare and wealth redistribution"

And it's unlikely their influence will wane quickly. Stoking separatist fires is extremely unpopular in the Maritimes and Eastern Ontario. As was mentioned, it is a rare occurrence that a majority is formed without carrying Quebec.

In my view the first issues for parliament to tackle are consumer debt and unemployment.

Best place on meth
Best place on meth
9 years ago

@chip:

>>>The US needs to wake up and legalize if anything is going to be done about drug crime here<<<

Absolutely right, and California will put legalization on the ballot again next year with hopefully better results.

chip
chip
9 years ago

@paradox:

"Grow op are a huge underground economy and laundering money vehicule that should either be cleaned up or made to pay taxes like every other business in this country."

You could legalize and regulate grow-ops tomorrow and nothing will change. Why? Because most of their product goes across the border and gangs are required to get it there. The US needs to wake up and legalize if anything is going to be done about drug crime here.

This is a major segue but one of legalization's best friends in the US is that right-wing bogeyman the Koch Brothers. Because it's a libertarian position and the Kochs are libertarians, on drugs, gay marriage, taxes etc, though you wouldn't know it from the media coverage.

chip
chip
9 years ago

@jesse:

"The question for me is how far right will the NDP venture."

More than half of the NDP's MPs now come from Quebec (58), a province that this year will receive $8.3 billion out of a total $14 billion in equalization payments.

Quebec is the poster child for welfare and wealth redistribution, and the NDP is the official opposition today because Quebeckers decided it was the party that would keep the tap running.

paradox
paradox
9 years ago

@ Alex

I am not advocating war on drugs.

When I buy my cigarettes, I pay my taxes. Same with evth else in this country.

Grow op are a huge underground economy and laundering money vehicule that should either be cleaned up or made to pay taxes like every other business in this country.

Aleks
Aleks
9 years ago

Maybe the cons will really get tough on crime and will give the police the necessary powers to start busting the BC grow ops.

That will be the best thing to start making the housing affordable again in this province.

Sure, because the war on drugs has worked so well in the US.

jesse
9 years ago

@Patiently Waiting: " wonder how many Liberal and BQ MPs will defect to the Layton “toned down” NDP"

Bob Rae was the leader of the NDP in Ontario and won his seat by a sizable margin. The question for me is how far right will the NDP venture. If that is the direction they choose, it will likely be a multi-election process. Huge void in the middle to fill…

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

sacrebleu … or should I say sacrebloc!

Ha ha – losers

"Alouette, gentille Alouette…"

Patiently Waiting
Patiently Waiting
9 years ago

The Conservatives will take all the blame or get all the credit for what happens to the economy of the next four years. I suspect it will be more along the lines of blame.

I wonder how many Liberal and BQ MPs will defect to the Layton "toned down" NDP, or at least develop a strong working relationship. I think the NDP has rules against accepting defectors but they also bear responsibility for creating an effective opposition to the Conservatives.

Best place on meth
Best place on meth
9 years ago

In 80% of U.S. cities it's now cheaper to buy than it is to rent.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Buying-Beats-Rentin

CelicaMan
CelicaMan
9 years ago

@paradox: You aren't the one who is always on the Vancouver Province forums with the nonsensical "Vancouver Real Estate=Drug Money" rants, are you?

Girlbear
Girlbear
9 years ago
Best place on meth
Best place on meth
9 years ago

@Anonymous:

Larry did post his stats.

Average price up to a new high.

http://www.yattermatters.com/2011/05/vancouver-av

paradox
paradox
9 years ago

Maybe the cons will really get tough on crime and will give the police the necessary powers to start busting the BC grow ops.

That will be the best thing to start making the housing affordable again in this province.

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

May 3rd and Larry hasn't posted his stats yet? He's been so punctual about beating the offical release to show off our new record highs. I wonder if the local real estate boards are going to release the stats during the Canucks game tonight… if you know what I mean.

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

@Westside Hag: A favourite expression of dopey hillbillies…..

Yep, hilbilies that win. Go Stevie!

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

@frank:

Big win Stevie. Ya!

patriotz
9 years ago

@Eddie:

The last CMHC bailout (60 billion taxpayer dollars to buy mortgages) didn’t even raise a public eyebrow.

That's because it's not a bailout with taxpayer dollars – yet. The money that CMHC uses to buy mortgages is borrowed on the bond market in its own name. It's not recorded as an expense for CMHC, just as when a bank buys a mortgage from you (i.e. makes a mortgage loan) it's not an expense for the bank.

It's when the mortgages default that they become an expense that must be paid by taxpayer dollars.