by Ng Weng Hoong on June 10th, 2018
…Now that the trust is broken in the name of sovereignty, what other betrayal lies ahead?
When in opposition, the NDP criticized the B.C. Liberal government for the harshness of the law, in particular for its failure to consider a "grandfather" exemption for those snared by the timing of the tax between announcement and implementation.
But once voted into power, the NDP government not only retained its predecessor’s position, it went further to betray the trust and goodwill of its own supporters.
Today, it has extended its target to include Canadians with the proposed school tax for high-end homes and the extension of the empty-home tax beyond Vancouver.
Some have argued that the school tax is a small sum for the lucky few, but it completely ignores the point about breaking trust and setting the precedent for more and worse measures to come.
Tax protests have erupted on Vancouver's West Side after homeowners were given no warning that the NDP was going to impose a property surtax. Charlie Smith
This leads to the third consideration: the rule of law. Desperate to “do something” about the housing issue, the Clark government imposed the knee-jerk tax to appease populist sentiments without improving affordability for anyone. As nonvoters, these foreigners had few rights and no political representation to counter this decision.
No reasonable person begrudges the state’s right to tax, but the B.C. government’s heavy-handed decision was bound to invite a challenge. Jing Li’s lawsuit is her only recourse, and law-abiding Canadians should applaud that.
Even more importantly and contrary to Todd’s assertion, the suit deeply affirms Canadians’ sovereignty by underlining that this country operates on the rule of law.
The B.C. government is not running Venezuela, but it has shown that it has just as much power to appropriate the wealth of investors, foreign and local.
The lawsuit, ironically by foreigners, serves to defend Canadians’ sovereign right to wealth protection against the encroaching and arbitrary powers of the state.