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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JJT
Guest
JJT

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

My graduate education in economics taught me the exact opposite. Though, I studied in East Asia. Protectionism has done wonders for them.

Absinthe
Member
Absinthe

Ugh. I must say, smug self-satisfaction and a know-it-all tone is unbecoming in any candidate.

YLTN @ Work
Guest
YLTN @ Work
Screw-it, I'm voting NDP. I'm doing this as I think they'll send the Canadian economy down the toilet and Vancouver housing with it. A weak Canadian economy and even weaker dollar will do nothing but improve the industry I work in because lets face it, if Canada falls back into recession it won't affect any other countries and probably won't be at deep…but it will be deep enough to start the tumble out West and deep enough to ruin any credibility the NDP has now. The NDP minority will fail, and whoever wins the next election will likely pull the economy off the ground just as a matter of "no more NDP". As for Vancouver reL estate, once it tumbles, it will be doomed as there are no more teicks to pull to prop it up and no government would… Read more »
WFT?
Guest
WFT?

Well it seems that the only country that does not have "protectionism" in RE is Canada.

Besides, there is no such thing as the import and export of real estate. The concept of "protectionism" does not even apply in this situation.

Vote against the conservatives. Bunch of morons.

Urgent
Guest
Urgent

Which party should we vote to restrict foreign capital and lower housing prices in BC? Thanks in advance!

Troll
Guest
Troll

I thought HAM was only 0.39% of the market?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

clearly this is a touchy subject, but please stop saying buying a residential property counts towards the investor immigrant program. not saying the program is or is not perfect, just saying it would help if you kept the facts straight. there's more than enough reasons to be piqued by the situation but this just isn't one of them.

Best place on meth
Member
Best place on meth

Fear and smear.

It's the only things conservatives are good at.

Get rid of them.

bubbly
Member
bubbly

Whoever you vote for today, whatever policies they implement once they are in power, you will deserve it good and hard.

Good luck with your votes.

Johnny_O
Guest
Johnny_O
Pleas take the time to vote today. Our country is a social establishment and not a business like some want it to be. The only reason why we are seeing the difficulties today with affordable housing is because we have been lulled into thinking that socialism is not worth its dime. That capitalism will fix everything if only we let the free markets function and that's a clear reality for Vancouver. Your vote is important to stop electing the type of leaders who only see their 5 year plan with their business friends come to reality while most of our society ends up feeling poorer. If this means to vote NDP (which btw was unions who brought some equality and the middle class in the 40's & 50's)to assure a minority government that can be overthrown, so be it. The… Read more »
Isurmise
Guest
Isurmise

Urgent 5,

I surmise that the best party to vote for, from the point of view of finding one that will actually come up with rational action around the housing situation in the lower mainland and Canada more broadly, is the GREEN party. They seem to be the only ones who have the concept of SUSTAINABILITY, and who have integrated the concept into their policies across the board.

Flip Flop
Guest
Flip Flop

Those unions that brought equality were also responsible for the outsourcing of manufacturing, by creating a higher cost of goods sold.

Those unions also completely eliminate any incentive for their members to go above and beyond, or excel at their jobs. In fact, they're discouraged from doing so, as it often makes other union members (that don't want to work hard) look bad.

Run the country like a corporation. Preferably a profitable one.

Vote for a Conservative minority. It's the best we're gonna get.

Snowrunner
Guest

@JJT: Now don't be silly. Clearly those people don't understand economics.

Snowrunner
Guest

@Flip Flop:

Those unions that brought equality were also responsible for the outsourcing of manufacturing, by creating a higher cost of goods sold.

No, the outsourcing happened because consumers wanted cheap goods and were perfectly fine with those goods being made under horrible conditions / low wage / totalitarian countries.

The Unions aren't without blame, but the reason why jobs got off-shored was because of the markets desire for high margin and low cost products. Something had to give and clearly society decided that shipping jobs overseas was an acceptable compromise.

jesse
Member
"Any first year university macro-economic course will teach that “protectionism” such as you suggest, winds up hurting more than its helps." A very quick and curt response indicates it is a non-issue for this particular candidate. But based on recent polling, Mr. Forseth looks likely to be destroyed by the NDP in his riding. Sir, if you want response on the issue, you need to find someone whose interests align with yours. Exacerbating unrest in the marginal immigrant vote through protectionism in a riding with a high immigrant population will get you nowhere. Just telling it like it is. To that end, I would suggest contacting someone in an area that has seen relatively low price appreciation, or who lives in a riding where prices, debt, and incomes are better aligned with the long-term average. That is not anywhere in… Read more »
Flip Flop
Guest
Flip Flop

@ Snowrunner:

Those decisions are made based on a cost/benefit analysis.

The greater the savings on wages, the more attractive the benefit of lower ones. Wages are your number 1 spend as an employer. I'm sure there would have still been a move in that direction, but unions provided a loins share of the momentum and incentive.

Had you told them they could have the money, but there would be no job for their kids, they would have still taken it. Greed is not a emotion solely confined to the board room; it is just as apparent on the product line.

Flip Flop
Guest
Flip Flop

that should read 'production line'

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Go Stevie Go. Well on the way to a deserved majority.

Flip Flop
Guest
Flip Flop

explain 'deserved'

WFT?
Guest
WFT?

Not sure if Friday's numbers were posted. Pretty weak.

Vancouver East & West*

New Listings – 70

Back On Market Listings – 1

Price Changes -22

Sold Listings -26

Vancouver All Areas*

New Listings – 218

Back On Market Listings – 5

Price Changes – 95

Sold Listings – 89

*Attached & Detached – Date: 04/29/2011 Time:17:32 Pacific YatterMatters.com: Courtesy REBGV. Data believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed.

real_professional
Member

Top Ten: Osama Bin Laden's Last words:

10) “This place sure beats anything we had in Tora Bora”

9) “Did you hear something… Actually, It’s probably nothing”

8) “Yusef, call Ali and tell him to PVR Celebrity Apprentice tonight”

7) “Anyone see where I left my body armour?”

6) “You shouldn’t have let me eat that second Bacon McMuffin”

5) “Hey Abdul… Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon had twins”

4) “No no, I don’t want phones and internet it will keep us inconspicuous”

3) “Listen up, I just figured out how to destroy the United States”

2) “Poker night with Al-Zawahiri and the boys, I can’t wait!”

1) “Kate Middleton, yeah, I’d do her!”

Snowrunner
Guest

@Flip Flop: Of course not. The greed is also with the consumer.

I just have a problem with singling out Unions because at the end of the day they have done way more good than bad. That doesn't mean they're perfect or aren't corrupt at some level (any organization will sooner or later get corrupted), but if you want to put the blame somewhere the most apt place is: Human Greed and shortsightedness and as such the person to blame for fleeting jobs is the one you see every morning in the mirror while brushing your teeth.

real_professional
Member

Alternative Number 1) Osama Bin Laden's Last Words

"What this place is worth a Million Bucks? Do you know what a million bucks gets you in Vancouver?"

patriotz
Member
Active Member

The guy doesn't even understand what protectionism means.

"Protectionism" means restricting imports to protect domestic industries from competition.

Foreign ownership of RE actually represents an export of services (like tourism), so restricting it means restricting one's own exports. Protectionism in RE by the Canadian government would mean restricting ownership of foreign RE by Canadians, i.e. not allowing them to buy in Phoenix to protect the market in Kelowna.

Economics lesson aside, the guy sounds like a first class jackass. At least an NDP or Liberal candidate would be polite with their answer.

I doubt he'll become your MP though, the riding has an NDP incumbent and one thing I'm sure of is that the NDP is not going to lose any incumbent seats in this election.

?!?!?
Guest
?!?!?

Patrick Muttart (= Canada's Karl Rove) please read about PMO's Deputy Chief Of Staff, what he did and where he is now. I'm a small c conservative but this Harper guy is NOT trustworthy. PS a local candidate in West Van (Dan Veniez) got the same treatment and has filed a lawsuit.

I"ll vote Liberal b/c I don't want a Conservative majority.

wpDiscuz