It has long been known that the astronomical housing prices in Vancouver, BC were the result of wealthy immigrants and Chinese in particular. Last year it was reported that Vancouver was “a Mainland Chinese buyers market” and that some 36% of owners were housewives and students who contribute nothing to the economy. Since then further research has been conducted. Turns out 1/3 of Vancouver’s housing market has been bought up by Chinese buyers and that they spent C$12.7 billion in 2015 alone.
Gordon Clark notes this problem began in the aftermath of Expo ’86 when Canadian politicians saw the opportunity to enrich themselves by opening Vancouver up to the world. Asia’s wealthiest businessman, Li Ka-Shing quickly bought up what was then cheap property. Since then real estate has become the largest contributor to the BC GDP, even more than mining, forestry or energy. The federal Canadian government instituted an immigration program meant to facilitate the movement of investor-class migrants to Canada. It was scrapped in 2014 after it became apparent it was of no economic value,
On average such immigrants were declaring less income, over time, than refugees. While skilled worker immigrants paid $10,900 in taxes annually after 10 years, investor immigrants paid just $1,400, according to government data (that doesn’t include those who didn’t even file tax returns). And unlike a similar program in the United States whereby entrepreneur or investor immigrants need to employ 10 Americans with a new business, Canada only required one Canadian to be employed by the business-minded immigrant.
However, wealthy Chinese and other foreign buyers are able to use other programs such as the super visa program.
A similar situation also exists in “Toronto, Chinese investors accounted for C$9 billion of the C$63 billion in total sales, or 14%.” And in Australia Sydney and Melbourne have become two of the most expensive cities to live in in the entire world, with the former beating out Vancouver. Auckland and San Francisco are also included on this list and no doubt the rising unaffordability of housing in those cities is also largely thanks to Chinese buyers.
According to this new research by professor David Ley,
[His] work suggests most of the anger (and not always veiled racism) directed at foreign investors in recent public discussions is misplaced. If we’re looking for someone to blame, we should, as I’ve said, look at who has been encouraging the spending free-for-all in the Lower Mainland housing markets that has been driving up prices — politicians.
I agree but two things: first, what isn’t considered racist nowadays? Second, I can’t help but feel that ‘racism’ would have prevented this. The Chinese exclusion laws which were formally on the books in Canada and Australia ensured that these countries retained their White majority. These laws were not focused with wealthy migrants, however, as at the time the threat was coming from cheap Chinese labour competing with White workers.
While workers’ rights were clearly a major factor in the formulation of such laws, so too was race and though the old laws did not deal with wealthy foreign businessmen I can’t help but feel that, given the openly pro-European aspects inherent to these laws, they would have been easily changed along with the altering circumstances.
And though wealthy Chinese are a threat it is more than just them we should be concerned about. The Chinese population in the Toronto and Vancouver is constantly growing and is expected to make Whites a minority by 2031 – if not sooner – and according to the 2011 census the city of Richmond, BC is 47% Chinese.
We should in the end be angrier at our politicians, realtors and businessmen who sold our countries out but that does not mean we should ignore the racial aspects of what is happening in many parts of Canada and Australia. Limits on Chinese immigration would seem quite necessary not only to help with the real estate issue but with ensuring continued European majorities.