Monday, April 2, 2018

Letters, March 31: Does the NDP's speculation tax breach the Charter of Rights? reader asks

The NDP government says tweaks will be made to ensure B.C. citizens will not pay the “speculation tax,” leaving only non-Canadians and Canadians who reside in other provinces as the targets.

Can Premier John Horgan explain how the Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not apply to these other Canadians? The provisions look crystal clear.

Section 6 (2) (a) says, “Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right to move to and take up residence in any province.”

In Section 6 (3) (a) there is a carve out “The rights specified in subsection (2) are subject to any laws of general application in force in a province other than those that discriminate among persons primarily on the basis of province of present or previous residence.”

There are precedent cases that hold a Canadian may have more than one residence.

The “speculation tax” discriminates against other Canadians as it is based exclusively on province of present residence. Can the NDP government explain how Canadians are swept into this tax?

I cannot believe that most British Columbians support taxing other Canadians, and it seems there is a law that supports that view.

Jim Macleod, Salt Spring Island

NDP real estate taxes won’t fix problem

Politicians of all political stripes have an insatiable desire for two things: power and money. Canada’s current immigration policies satisfy both.

In his recent op-ed, Herb Grubel is correct in stating that the housing affordability crisis is demand driven, and our current government will not take measures to address it. Speculation and foreign buyer taxes are just smoke and mirrors. Unfortunately, the poor, our middle class and our youth will continue to bare the brunt of these selfish leaders.

Rich Horner, Delta

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