I'm not following the logic here. Even if you believe the numbers (and they come from a blog and are based on an "educated assessment"), the issue is the effect on housing prices. So we are to assume I imagine that they are buying expensive real estate in Vancouver (even if they entered under a Quebec scheme), and then are somehow a burden on the system because they are not actually living in Vancouver. But realistically, I'm not sure how much of a burden a non-resident who is paying property taxes on an expensive piece of property can really be.
And I question how much "cash assistance" from the government these "non-tax paying residents" (excluding property taxes presumably) are actually correcting. There is a long-standing myth in the States about illegal immigrants collecting social services, when in fact the data suggests the exact opposite. Illegals pay their taxes (because they are withheld from paychecks) but under-use available social services (for fear of being detected). A lot of that myth stems from simple anti-immigrant bigotry, which I'd like to think is not the issue with Chinese buying property in Vancouver, as that would be sad.
Some good questions you raise. This issue is purely fiscal and has nothing to do with race. It has everything to do with the origin of the money and nothing to do with the origin of the person. Let me attempt to explain:
- The vast majority of services in this country are funded through the income tax. Not sales, property, or any other kind of tax. Roughly 70% of every dollar the government spends comes from both corporate and personal income tax. Now if you come to this country and live here and enjoy the social services that we have to offer yet are not reporting income because your spouse continues to work in their home country, then this is a fundamental problem.
- The federal government closed the now defunct immigrant investor program because they found the average millionaire migrant paid less in taxes than the average refugee who has come here. In other words, it was a total failure of a program.
- Now if are large sum of foreign earned capital were to be injected into the local real estate market and subsequently distort the average price for a home which normally would be dictated by the health of the local economy, or what the average household income could reasonably afford, you've now created a situation which you place an artificially inflated stress on the families that live and work in that area, as their cost of living goes up beyond what is dictated by the economy. In the case of the Lower Mainland, this situation is now a full blown crisis. If interest rates in a few years sky rocket, there will be a lot of families that are already stretched to the max that will be suffering greatly. And if people start to default, guess who will responsible? The CMHC, which by the way, is backed by the tax-payer.
Do you see the issue here? Don't get me wrong - I believe immigration is a good thing (It'd be weird to suggest otherwise seeing that I'm the son of an immigrant). It is usually the case that immigrants come to a country such as ours (and as you referred to the US and its illegal immigrants), and work hard for a better life. In the process of doing so they contribute to the economy and help build the country. The issue I raise is if the immigrants come here and don't need to work, or worse, leave the family here and continue to work in their home country and so skirt paying taxes on said income. And because they are not reporting that income, it appears that they are in "poverty", and so receive assistance that families who are in true poverty are eligible for (much of that assistance is automatic based on the income tax filing - so they receive the assistance without application). That I have a problem with. I hope any rational minded person would see it as a problem as well.
Edited by adios55, 18 June 2015 - 08:14 AM.