VICTORIA – In an interview on CBC Early Edition this morning, Andrew Wilkinson criticized the New Democrat government’s speculation and vacancy tax. He defended people with vacant homes worth $2 million – a price he seems to think is normal and okay:
“On a 2 million dollar home in Vancouver, which is typical, that’s a $40,000 bill.”
Andrew Wilkinson might be the only one who thinks owning a $2 million home is typical. The MLS benchmark price for residential properties in Metro Vancouver is half that – just over $1 million.
Wilkinson lives in Shaughnessy, where homes often sell for $5 million or more.
And yesterday in Question Period, Finance Minister Carole James highlighted the need for a speculation and vacancy tax by citing a recent story about a family forced to camp in Crab Park because they couldn’t find an affordable place to rent.
Wilkinson dismissed the family’s struggle as “an empty statement”:
“These empty statements from the Finance Minister about people living in tents have nothing to do with this tax.” (Hansard)
“It’s clear that Andrew Wilkinson’s BC Liberals still don’t understand the challenges people are facing in this housing market. Most British Columbians couldn’t dream of buying a $2 million home, let alone buy one only to leave it empty. The BC Liberal plan to cancel the speculation and vacancy tax would let millionaires with vacant homes off the hook while driving the cost of housing even further out of reach for everyone else.” – Bowinn Ma, New Democrat MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale