Regional mayors brace for Vancouver housing tax ripple effect

The Globe and Mail

Cities outside the Lower Mainland are bracing for the potential ripple effect of the provincial government’s surprise tax on foreign buyers, which will add 15 per cent to the cost of homes sold to people from outside the country – but only in Metro Vancouver. …

In Richmond, Mayor Malcolm Brodie has people studying whether it will impact homes built on agricultural land, which accounts for 40 per cent of Richmond.

It turns out, if the land is being used for farming, the added tax will apply only to the house. If the land isn’t being farmed, the 15-per-cent tax will be applied to the entire value of the property.

But for Mr. Brodie and other mayors, a major concern is what help the province is going to give municipalities struggling with a gamut of housing problems. …

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Bill reins in shady realtors, cracks open door to vacancy tax

Richmond News

The provincial government announced Monday that it is amending the Real Estate Services Act to end self-regulation of the real estate industry.

The move comes after an independent advisory group made recommendations earlier this year to curtail what Premier Christy Clark has called “shady practices” in the industry.

The changes are intended to strengthen consumer protection and restore consumer confidence in the wake of revelations of shadow flipping and double-ended deals, whereby some real estate agents are earning extra profits on transactions at the expense of the initial home seller. …

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie said he would monitor its implementation. He considers the problem to be not as bad in Richmond.

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Freud’s flower theory wilts at Richmond city council

Richmond News

Sigmund Freud once said, “Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts.”

Clearly, Freud never sat in on a Richmond city council debate on public art, including the current one which is all about flowers.

At Monday’s council meeting, Coun. Harold Steves, chair of the city’s parks and recreation committee, derided yet another developer-funded public art proposal, while calling on the city to put local artists first.

At issue this time is a $437,500 public art piece named Flower Tree, by South Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa, being proposed by Richmond’s public art planner Eric Fiss for the planned Hollybridge Way Plaza along the Fraser River’s middle arm. …

Mayor Malcolm Brodie did not comment on the art and voted for the proposal. …

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Vacancy/non-resident tax too bureaucratic: Mayor Brodie

Richmond News

Richmond’s mayor Malcolm Brodie said he disagrees with a proposal made this week by West Vancouver mayor Michael Smith, who is asking the provincial government to grant municipalities with the power to tax households with non-resident owners.

The proposal has reportedly gained the support of mayors from North Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam and Surrey.

But Brodie told the Richmond News he doesn’t see the need, and worries about government intervention in the housing market.

“It worries me when governments will intervene in market forces,” said Brodie. …

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Canadian business needs to catch up to ‘circular’ thinking

Business In Vancouver

The National Zero Waste Council hopes a new toolkit will spur laggard Canadian businesses to embrace zero waste and the “circular economy.”

The European Commission recently adopted an ambitious Circular Economy Package, looking to incorporate recycling into the majority of its municipal and packaging waste produced by 2030. A recent study by Accenture, a Canadian business management consulting company, estimates creating a shift to a “closed-loop” economy of zero waste could save $4.5 trillion globally by 2030. …

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, who is also the chair NZWC, said we need to start accepting that living more sustainably is good for business.

“Our linear economy is costing more than taxpayers are willing to pay, so businesses that eliminate waste will be future proofing themselves against changing regulations as well as dwindling primary resources.” …

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‘Walk Off The Earth’ To Headline Richmond World Festival

604 Now

The award-winning group Walk Off The Earth will be headlining at the 2nd annual Richmond World Festival on Saturday, September 3rd.

The Juno ‘Group of the Year’ winners will take the stage at Minoru Park.

“The Richmond World Festival is a fun, free celebration of the rich diversity we enjoy in Richmond and all across Canada,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “It’s a great opportunity to sample the sounds, tastes colours and other unique cultural characteristics that are all part of our community with entertainment and activities for all age groups and interests.” …

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Regional mayors reject Vancouver’s vacancy tax, propose non-resident tax

The Globe and Mail

Mayors in cities neighbouring Vancouver say its vacancy tax aimed at reining in housing prices will be a bureaucratic nightmare and they won’t impose it, leading to concerns there will be a patchwork of regulations across the region.

Instead, regional mayors say, it would be easier to administer a non-resident tax that would directly tackle the issue of foreign investment. …

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie said he is still unsure if either a vacancy tax or a non-resident tax is practical. He and his council are waiting to see how things turn out in Vancouver, even though his municipality showed up as the one with the highest level of foreign buyers – 14 per cent of all sales – in the province’s data. …

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YouTubers to head second annual Richmond World Festival

Richmond News

Reigning Juno Group of the Year Award winners and international YouTube sensations Walk Off The Earth will headline the second annual Richmond World Festival on Saturday, Sept. 3 in Minoru Park.

Walk Off The Earth had already established a significant global following when their cover of Gotye’s Somebody I Used To Know — featuring all five band members performing the song on a single guitar — went viral on the Internet, with 172 million YouTube views and counting. …

“The Richmond World Festival is a fun…celebration of the rich diversity we enjoy in Richmond and all across Canada,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie in a press release.

“It’s a great opportunity to sample the sounds, tastes colours and other unique cultural characteristics that are all part of our community with entertainment and activities for all age groups and interests.” …

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