By Harvey Oberfeld
August 4, 2016
for BC I told you so!
Three years ago, the media and I shone the spotlight on a blatant rip off of BC taxpayers (Ontario too) being perpetrated by Quebec … to the tune of MILLIONS OF DOLLARS each year: HERE
As Vancouver Sun reporter Peter O’Neill outlined then, and reiterated in a follow up weeks ago:
“That program lets wealthy foreigners effectively buy permanent residence status in Canada, but research has indicated that most settle outside Quebec and especially in B.C.
“As a result, Quebec gets the financial benefits from the cash-for-visa program while, say critics, B.C. has to deal with both the positives and negatives associated with the arrival of wealthy migrants.
You can read O’Neil’s full article on the subject here: http://vancouversun.com/news/politics/feds-wont-fight-sweetheart-quebec-immigration-program-despite-b-c-fallout.
The way the Quebec program works: Foreign investors who have a net worth of $1.6 million need only “invest” $800,000 in a Quebec 5-year bond to gain landed immigrant status there … even if they fail to remain/live there. At the end of the five-year period, they get their $800,000 back, but Quebec keeps any interest etc.
Last year alone, Quebec reportedly took in $345 million …. from investor-class “immigrants” … most of whom left immediately for BC. or Ontario … provinces that picked up the TOTAL cvosts of absorbing, settling them and their families.
It’s outrageous, of course, but what is EVEN MORE OUTRAGEOUS is how NONE of the federal parties … Liberals, Tories, NDP … have called for an end to the Quebec ripoff program!
Where are BC’s MPs???? Lickspittles …. all of them!
To HIS credit, BC NDP MLA David Eby HAS spoken up …demanding the BC government take a stronger stand with Ottawa: http://vancouversun.com/news/national/quebec-immigrant-program-increases-in-popularity-with-downsides-for-b-c.
“The silence from the B.C. government has been absolutely startling,” Eby told The Sun.
“In effect, they are content with a program that brings major housing affordability problems, while allowing many wealthy migrants to use British Columbia’s social services virtually for free.”
The BC Liberals say they have raised the issue with the rederal government …to no avail.
But apart from The Sun, where are BC’s media ?????
This is a GREAT West Coast story … that not only cries for extended coverage and exposure but justice as well.
Where is Global TV; or CTV; or CBC ????
This is not a story where passing coverage …. or no coverage … is good enough.
They should ALL be championing this BC cause … going after the federal government EVERY DAY on this issue; chasing down BC’s disgracefully-silent MPs … and even Quebec MPs too, showing them defending the rip-off of BC taxpayers … instead of just bringing us the latest BORING police blotter crud, press conference promos and filler fluff!
Is this the result of having news coverage decisions for the West Coast being made in Toronto? Or just local news management incompetence?
The cost to BC of this Quebec fraud is unjustifiable in any way … except politically for ALL the federal parties.
Time for BC to make this a MAJOR issue with ALL the parties in Ottawa!