It’s been less than 24 hours since a letter titled “Dear Trudeau, please tax the sh$% out of foreign real estate buyers in Canada. Signed, A 30 yr old Canadian” was posted on the /r/Canada subreddit page, generating thousands off comments and causing a Reddit mod uproar.
In that time, the letter has received more than 2200 comments, made it to the top of Reddit/r/all, been removed briefly by an unknown moderator, and then re-posted after a loud outcry.
The post’s popularity is further testament to the growing frustration among young Canadians trying to get into the housing market.
In his self-proclaimed rant, “Tim” says he’s university educated with a full time job and a partner who also works, yet they still can’t afford a house in Southern Ontario.
He then goes on to say that his friend who has been house hunting for six months, and has consistently been outbid by Chinese buyers by as much as $50K.
“It’s not a right for us to own a house, but there should be some bias to lifetime Canadians when considering our ability to build a future through property purchase. This country made us. Now we are being locked out of planting roots. I believe foreign buyers should be allowed to purchase Canadian property. But those who lack a Canadian citizenship, or at the very least lack the intent to become Canadian should face a greater barrier to entry when they are doing so.”
In a later edit, he writes that he’s not speaking racially, but that it’s a socioeconomic issue.
“The Chinese economy is uncertain and has created a large influx of Chinese investors. I’m sure other countries are contributing and yes there are other factors – including ourselves as Canadians to some degree. I was purely speaking from a known example of foreign buyers that I’ve learned about.”
Many of the comments on the post refer to similar situations in Australian cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland. Other comments spoke to the letter as simplifying a complex matter and using foreign buyers as a scapegoat while Canadian policy is the real problem.
Many people responded to the letter with their own stories of frustration in trying to buy a home, including one person who wrote that he and his partner camped out overnight to buy a soon-to-be-developed property in Ajax, Ontario – even though Toronto was their first choice.
We reached out to “Tim” for comment but haven’t heard back yet.
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