Condo Business quotes Vancouver partner Edmond Luke in an article about B.C. government introducing the 15% surcharge for foreign home buyers.
Edmond Luke, a partner at Fasken Martineau whose practice areas include foreign investment and real estate investment, noted that the property transfer tax is the first of its kind in Canada, and possibly the world. Other jurisdictions have used different tools to address foreign investment. Australia, for example, has experimented with restrictions on real estate ownership, while China taxes capital gains on speculative transactions.
“Some are suggesting a Charter or constitutional challenge; others are suggesting that it violates trade treaties such as the WTO or NAFTA,” said Luke. “All of those are interesting academic questions, but practically I don’t see anybody able to lodge those challenges and try to get themselves exempt from this tax through the process – it would take too long and [be] too expensive.”