Just in time for the Province’s release of foreign-ownership data, here’s an international story just today that makes it clear how volatile the issue is becoming – and waiting for a flashpoint.
After Canada’s ugly episode of racism in the early 20th century, Vancouverites feel uneasy talking about how this beautiful but unassuming city became one of the least affordable in the world: an unprecedented flood of Chinese capital. …
The lessons of the past go some way to explaining Vancouver’s almost religious embrace of multiculturalism, says David Ley, a UBC geography professor and wealth migration expert. “I think it’s very much part of the Canadian psyche to want to avoid these discussions,” he says. “We’re a polite and tolerant society that has been thoroughly schooled in the virtues of multiculturalism.”
Unfortunately, this also amplifies the uneasiness around the affordability discussion.“It’s frustrating,” says Justin Fung, an activist with Housing Action for Local Taxpayers, a local advocacy group. “[The crisis] is a policy issue, it’s a social justice issue, and up until now, everyone is saying, ‘We’re nice, we can’t talk about this.’ Well, if you can’t even talk about where the money is coming from, you can’t do anything about it.”