While the governing Liberals are ending self-regulation for realtors, the Opposition NDP are calling for a full court press on irregularities in the real estate market.
NDP Leaser John Horgan says he supports the government’s actions to crack down on shady realtors, but that the moves won’t tackle the root cause of rising prices.
“It’s just not enough for the premier and the Finance Minister to play around the edges of this issue. What we’ve done with this report is address one of the symptoms of the runaway escalating and exploding real estate market here in Vancouver.”
Horgan is instead calling for a task force, coordinating between federal and provincial regulators, to crack down on tax evasion, money laundering, and fraud.
“It would be a task force consisting of crown prosecutors, tax experts from the ministry of finance, legal experts with respect to real estate law and corporate law, and that could be done in a fairly timely way at little or no cost over the long term.”
He says the task force would be funded by penalties collected from targeted fraudsters.
Horgan adds FINTRAC has all the information needed and called for a provincial task force to see that information become evidence in a police investigation.
Horgan is also backing calls Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson for a tax on vacant housing, saying the difference between the NDP and the Liberals is that an NDP government would give the city the provincial tools needed.
Earlier this year the NDP called on the province to crack down on money laundering, which they allege is also taking place in the province’s casinos and liquor stores.