– Files from Kyle Benning
An international trade lawyer is questioning the province’s foreign buyers’ tax, saying it violates NAFTA – the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Barry Appleton says the agreement reads that nations must treat foreign investors as favourably as the best treated person in the jurisdiction.
“If you’re going to put a tax in to the Greater Vancouver area, the best treatment is somebody who doesn’t pay the tax. If you impose the tax, a 15 per cent tax which is fairly heavy, on foreigners, you’re going to violate national treatment. And that is clearly and explicitly provided for in the NAFTA.”
Appleton believes the tax also violates 27 other trade agreements Canada is included in.