While Canadian passports were being sold at bargain-basement prices, the Canada Revenue Agency has been ignoring another red flag — that many BIP newcomers and other owners of Metro mansions have been reporting strangely low incomes.
Even though the tax department had been warned, the politicians responsible did not want to face the reality that thousands of BIP investors and others were hiding most of their assets, which should have been taxed.
Officials have not wanted to admit to the widespread phenomenon of “astronaut” fathers who leave wives and student children in expensive homes in Metro to return to their homelands to do business — without declaring their offshore assets to Canadian tax officials.
An early attempt to bring in a national law requiring residents of Canada to disclose their foreign assets was opposed and not only by centre-right politicians, says Ley. B.C.’s centre-left NDP government of the 1990s also expressed concern such a law would be “culturally insensitive” and decrease B.C.’s attractiveness as a place for migrants to invest.