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A B.C. Court of Appeal ruling that declares nothing is racist about taxing foreign buyers of real estate in Canada clears the way for federal politicians to propose bold policies to deal with the crisis of housing unaffordability. With an election call in the offing, Canada’s three largest political parties can feel freer to challenge critics and make stronger promises than they already have to restrict foreign ownership. In effect, that means Canada can join most nations of the world in standing up for national sovereignty. B.C. Appeal Court Justice Barbara Fisher has confirmed, in a unanimous decision of the three-judge panel, that the province’s 20 per cent tax on foreign buyers of residential property rose out of the valid “view that foreign nationals significantly contributed to the escalation of prices of housing” in Metro Vancouver. She stated the tax “was neither a stereotype nor a continuation of racist policies from the past.” The judges rejected the extensive argument by Chinese national Jing Li, a temporary resident of Canada represented by the late lawyer Joe Arvay, that the tax perpetuates “prejudice, stereotyping, or disadvantages on Chinese people.”

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