PRINCE GEORGE (January 18, 2019) – Despite the Green Party voting in favour of the Speculation Tax, Leader Andrew Weaver is attempting to have his cake and eat it too by distancing himself from his party’s voting record in the midst of the Nanaimo by-election.
“Now my job is to get the NDP to recognize it’s a stupid tax and get rid of it,” Weaver said in Nanaimo this week.
“Mr. Weaver is admitting this tax is bad public policy and does not tax speculators,” said BC Liberal Finance Co-Critic Shirley Bond. “And yet when he had a chance to stop the tax and end this mess, the Green Party Leader caved.”
Weaver’s biggest let-down was a promise to give municipalities the option to exempt themselves from the Speculation Tax. During debate in the legislature, Weaver declared, “while I would have preferred for local governments to have the ability to opt out automatically, this is a compromise position that I feel I can support and my colleagues can support as well.”
“Andrew Weaver is the leader of a recognized third party in the Legislature and as such, he and his party have to take responsibility for how they vote,” said Bond. “The fact of the matter is the Green Party voted in support of the Speculation Tax and now they have to explain to voters why.”
Following the recent announcement that 1.6 million homeowners will now be required to go online and prove they are not real estate speculators, local mayors and municipal councilors are voicing their objections.
“The Province is continuing to add unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy to this misguided Speculation Tax,” said Langford Mayor Stew Young. “Now it will affect 100 per cent of homeowners living in affected areas, homeowners will be presumed speculators until they declare themselves innocent, and homeowners will need to provide personal information that the Province has no business knowing. On top of all this, I can only imagine the millions of dollars it will cost to send out and process these letters to hardworking families, all while not actually adding to the supply of housing in British Columbia. It just doesn’t make sense.”
“It appears that very little thought was given to implementing the Speculation Tax and the government is making up tax policy on the fly,” added West Kelowna councillor and former mayor Doug Findlater.