Letter: Dirty money damage done in Richmond and in B.C.

Dear Editor,

So, the Ministry of Finance finally got around to conducting research that confirms what long-time home-owners and taxpayers in Richmond in particular have known for years: that money laundering by foreigners and the proceeds from organized crime have impacted the real estate market to the point that average Canadians can no longer afford to buy homes or find appropriately priced rental accommodations in the Lower Mainland. In the words of the report: “B.C. is an increasingly attractive place (for foreign criminals) to stash their money — without legal consequence — and that $5.3 billion has been laundered into an already skyrocketing real estate market that has driven home ownership out of most residents’ reach.”

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Now, let’s guess how many of the dozens of unoccupied monster homes in your neighbourhood might qualify accordingly!

It makes one wonder whether it was ignorance that prevented our politicians from anticipating the need for appropriate measures to prevent such things from happening, or, if they have always been aware but were just too cowardly to do what was necessary.

In either case, by failing to do what they should have done, our politicians have played the part of enablers to criminality, and a report that comes far too late to have any real effect cannot camouflage this reality.

Ray Arnold

RICHMOND

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