The $600 million Loss That No One is Talking About – The BC NDP Government

The $600 million Loss That No One is Talking About

A $600 million yearly  loss.

Six hundred million dollars.

$600 million is the amount the BC NDP government is actively trying to remove from the BC economy each year, through their 2018 budget, yet no one is talking about it.


Have they yet to figure it out?

Are math skills and economic skills so poor?

Or is ideology at the cost to the average British Columbian more important?

Let me fill you in.

The BC 2018 budget revealed a speculation “tax”. However, it isn’t a “tax”, it is a penalty. The properties affected already pay property taxes at about 30% more than a British Columbian resident who receives a “grant”; yes a nifty two tiered pricing that seems to never be questioned. This is a “speculation” tax ON TOP. But it isn’t a tax, is it? “Sin tax” or “luxury tax” are taxes that are applied at the point of sale. The consumer knows openly the financial commitment that is required of them and enter into the purchase and taxation in good faith.

This “speculation tax” tax is a fine, just like you are being fined for breaking the law. It is ALL it can be. This is a tax for breaking a law that doesn’t exist. The BC NDP government are trying to create laws of their own. The BC NDP government are making up imaginary and discriminatory laws, under the guise of “policy”, that breaks the Canadian Charter of Rights that ensures all Canadians are equal, have equal opportunity, and can live free from discrimination. The BC NDP Government are concocting fake laws that make it okay to fine people from out-of-province who LEGALLY bought property, in good faith, in their province years ago. The BC NDP government are trying to cleanse their province of the dirty out-of-province owners that they deem criminal for having invested in the province of British Columbia; “criminal” is all we can be as the owners are being fined. FINED.

So, The BC NDP government ramped up their xenophobic rhetoric, stood on their virtual soap boxes, and shouted to their people that the BC affordable housing crisis is the fault of “out-of-province” and foreign property owners. Every one of the 4.8 million BC residents are being destroyed by the “out-of-province” and foreign owners according to the government. And so they ramped up the campaign of dislike.

But here is what the BC NDP government didn’t tell you, this is the story of a $600 million per year loss.

Financial Post link:

According to the Financial Post story on March 12, 2018 by Geoffrey Morgan, there are approximately 15,000 residential properties targeted by this speculation tax. The government has fed a narrative to their population that these homes are just sitting empty while owners wait for the value to increase. Interestingly, the government is wrong on both counts. The properties were not bought for the purpose of speculation (some have been owned for generations). Nor do the properties sit empty, rather they are residences used in conjunction with other properties in other provinces. These owners identify as bi-provincial, and the ability to live freely anywhere in Canada again is covered under the Charter. In this era of self identity being so protected by the federal government, it is shocking that a provincial government would penalize these owners as identifying as bi-provincial; even more shocking for a left leaning government to discriminate against a population as to how they self identify.

The government may be fine with discriminating against the “bi” community, but what they are also doing is harming the ones that they profess to help.

What the BC NDP government have failed to tell their population, for fear that it will undermine their ideological xenophobic dislike of “out-of-province” owners, is that “out-of-province” property owners are actually INVESTORS. We invest in the province, we add to the economy, with “out-of-province” money. Through owning property, each year we spend a considerable amount of money on product and services in BC. For us personally, it is around $40K annually.

Here is the math.

15,000 targeted homes  X  $40,000 spent per household per year = $600,000,000 of investment into the BC economy with “out-of-province” dollars.

$600 MILLION per year…….and this is on top of the $1.4 billion in the form of the yearly Alberta tourism dollars.

What the government hasn’t equated, is that if these homes are either sold or locked up and left “empty” as their hallucination says they are, not only is $600 million of out-of-province investment removed from the BC economy each year, so are jobs. The $600 million is money that the BC NDP government can not generate from their population, this is money GIFTED by Canadians from other provinces to the province and citizens of British Columbia. The homes go, the yearly investment goes, and jobs go.

A $600 million yearly loss to the economy equates to a job loss of 20,000 entry level full time jobs.

Yes, a 20,000 person JOB LOSS.

20,000 PEOPLE PUT OUT OF WORK BY THE BC NDP GOVERNMENT THROUGH THEIR POLICY OF IDEOLOGICAL DISLIKE OF OTHER CANADIANS………. but the job losses will greatly exceed that, because all of this bad press will also impact the BC tourism industry, wine industry, and real estate industries. The BC NDP government is CHOOSING to put their province into a recession.

The BC NDP government have chosen to attack 15,000 property owners in an attempt to put 20,000 of their own residents out of work.

In an attempt to deport 15,000 “out-of-province” investors/property owners, the government will forcibly create unemployment for 20,000 BC residents.

Now when you take into account that in 2016 the average BC household had a 2.4 person occupancy, it means that the best case scenario is that these targeted homes, if all emptied, would house 36,000 people. Yet, 20,000 of those people will now be unemployed, which brings us down to 16,000 working people. Assume the 0.4 of the household count are children, and that reduces the buying power by another 6000 people bringing the total number of people potentially employed to be able to pay for housing down to 10,000.

So we now have 10,000 who will benefit from this xenophobic “speculation tax”, but we aren’t done yet.

Back to math class.

10,000 people employed to pay for housing (divided by) 2 (as at today’s house prices it is a two income purchase) = 5,000 homes.

Just to recap. The BC NDP government targets 15,000 homes, in order to put a minimum of 20,000 BC residents out of work, in an effort to fill 5,000 more homes.

But there is more to the story.

The BCHAF proposal that the “speculation tax” was based on was focused ONLY on the Lower Mainland area. This was the area of housing concern.

The homes needed aren’t the ones in Kelowna, Nanaimo, Victoria or the Gulf Islands (islands of which some have no ferry or electricity) which is where the vast majority of the affected properties are. The properties they need are homes within spitting distance of English Bay in Vancouver.

Is anyone seeing a problem here?

The BC NDP government is consciously choosing to break the Canadian Charter of Rights, drive away investment, drive away tourism, create unemployment, create a self-created recession, and still not have housing in the geographic area where it is needed.


But we aren’t done……

There is one last piece to the puzzle.

People who own property are generally “numbers people”. Seriously, there isn’t a thing that isn’t spreadsheeted. They also tend to be competitive. Due to this I see a potential twist. I look into my crystal ball and I see some owners sticking it to the BC NDP government on the basis of “affordable housing”. I foresee owners of million dollar homes selling them to big off shore money, and in turn buying up the more modest affordable homes in BC to beat the tax. Cash sales. No chain. Bam. You think BC has an affordable home crisis now, well this will seal up the inventory for sure.

So there is the story.

  • A $600 million yearly loss of investment to the province of British Columbia
  • A 20,000 person job loss
  • Lost tourism revenue
  • Breaches of the Canadian Charter of Rights
  • A self-induced recession
  • No more affordable housing in the areas where it is required
  • The potential to encourage “out-of-province” owners to sell luxury properties and in turn buy “affordable” properties, thus reducing affordable housing inventory.

You have to admit, the BC NDP government are “pretty special” in coming up with such an amazing “speculation tax” policy. Personally, I don’t think this is the political legacy I would wish to be known for.

Mountain Views From the Trans Canada Highway

More driving, more travel. Here are a few images from yesterday’s drive along the Trans Canada Highway through Alberta and British Columbia (Canada).

The Alberta Rockies

Trans Canada Highway

Castle Mountain, Banff National Park

Golden, BC

Snow pile at the Rogers Pass Summit

Revelstoke, BC

Shuswap Sunset




iPhone photography by Debra Hunter 




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Saturday Wanderings in the Mountains

A quick get away to the mountains of Alberta and British Columbia allows for interesting views in every direction.

Castle Mountain, Banff National Park.

Kootenay National Park.

Traffic delays in Radium, BC.

Sunset over the Columbia Valley.

Late night outdoor swimming in the middle of winter at the pools at Radium Hot Springs. Water temperature was a beautiful +31C in the cold pool…..much hotter in the hot pool.



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Saturday Drive To Golden and Back

castle junction

Castle Mountain Junction, Banff National Park (Canada)

On Saturday we decided to drive to Golden, BC for the day. It is about a 4.5 hour drive one way for us, 4.5 hours of amazing scenery. We enjoy driving, plus I needed to get some knitting done (which I find works very well on road trips), so it seemed a great way to spend the day.

Coffee Sweaters being knit for a coffee shop in Banff.

Coffee Sweaters being knit for a coffee shop in Banff.


Driving on the Trans Canada Highway.

Driving on the Trans Canada Highway.

Over the last year and a half we have spent more and more time in this area. The scenery is stunning, yet it is less crowded than Jasper or Banff. We never knew what a gem this area was until one day we ventured off the main highway and started exploring the more rural areas and roads.



Even with the weather rolling in the landscape is gorgeous.

Reflection Lake

Reflection Lake

Reflection Lake has become one of our stopping points. Located only minutes from Golden, it is a great place to view birds while surrounded by great mountain scenery.


Fall leaves provided  great foreground color as the Purcells turn to grey as the clouds cover the mountains.


Little creeks are abundant in this area, creating amazing picturesque views.

Hoodoo Creek

Hoodoo Creek

Just before the sky opened up with torrential rain, we were able to get a last couple of mountain pictures featuring fall leaves.



Photography by Debra Hunter
(just iPhone pics this time!)






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Busy in the Background

Recently blogging has taken a backseat. It seems the more one has to blog about the less time there is to actually blog.

Today I will share just a few things happening in the background, some of which are on my other blogs.

Photography has been busy recently. Head shots, grads, families and babies. Many an hour past midnight has been spent on the computer editing away. ( or )

With the blooming of wildflowers natural dyeing is a daily event. (


Plus I have been knitting items for Talisman Books and Gallery on Pender Island and the Bear’s paw Bakery in Jasper. In addition to these two retailers I have been completing custom orders like the hats below…….

blog custom knit hats

and making hats to be posted on the website. ( )

blog child maple leaf hats

With tree pruning there has also been spoon carving. We won’t discuss the scale of this one, it is rather ambitious!

blog spoon

Our land search has taken us to the mountains multiple times, allowing us to enjoy many hikes.


The thing that keeps us busiest of all are our trips back and forth to the coast. After all, who can resist ocean kayaking? ( )

blog kayaking

I do find I am able to keep more up-to-date on Instagram. I can be found at @debramhunter , @handmadeincanada, and at @hunterphotographics …… media is almost a full time job!







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Path Side Wonders – Wapta Falls, BC, Canada

blog mushroom _ 0011

This spring we have spent our fair share of time exploring the mountain parks of Alberta and British Columbia. Our family is finally at the stage where everyone is able to hike, and excited about it too. Last weekend we explored the area around Golden, BC, and on the return trip stopped for an enjoyable hike to Wapta Falls.

blog mushroom_0028

As there had been quite a bit of rain, the sides of the path were lush with flowers and mushrooms. Admittedly, the constant stopping left my family standing and waiting (perhaps arms crossed and toes tapping by our oldest two!), while I crawled around for mushroom pictures.

blog wildflower_0003

The younger three got in the spirit of looking at the wildflowers. This did however lead to a discussion where my eight year old just would not accept that the beautiful flower she had discovered was a dandelion. She was certain it was a rare wildflower (her siblings also chimed in that what she had found was a dandelion which certainly didn’t help matters!).

blog mushroom _ 0031

Now there is an amusing story from the day we did this hike. My husband and I were certain we had both walked to Wapta Falls a few years ago, we were sure of it. We were so sure of it we described the walk to tourists parked next to us; we had also read the distance, time and elevation gain the night before so we passed on that information. I remembered it being a grey drizzly day. As we walked along the path I thought something was “different”, but I wasn’t about to say anything. We get to the first lookout and at that point my husband and I are saying the hike and falls are different than we remember. By the time we hit the base of the falls we both looked at each other and said “We’ve never been here before!”. And then we twigged. We were thinking Sunwapta Falls…… Jasper National Park…..we were only a couple of national parks out. Then, we had to come clean with the kids.

blog indian paintbrush _ 0082

The view from the bottom of the falls was quite lovely. The forest wildflowers gave way to Indian Paintbrush, one of my favorites. We stopped and admired the falls for a while, made a quick sketch, and then returned down the path we had just walked.

blog flower _ 0046

Photography by Debra Hunter





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A River Runs Through It (and more) – land shopping

We are currently on a quest looking for land to rebuild our cabin on. Just across the Alberta border and into BC has caught our eye. We want more space than before, but are willing to forfeit being 100 meters from a lake. We also know that to make the project work we will have to do a lot of the construction, especially interior finishing, ourselves.

Before we even get into talking about the build, our first task is finding some land. This is our second look at this plot. It has realistically one snug building spot as seen in the picture above . A snug building spot with beautiful views. However the piece of land also has some weird features too. Firstly, it is almost entirely on a steep incline. Secondly, a disused highway runs through it.

And then train tracks run through it…..

And a river too.

Yes, a very strange property. But it is beautiful. There are lots of logistics to work out on this property before moving forward, it isn’t straight forward. Working out developing this piece of land is going to take a bit of imagination.


Happy Earth Day – eco-printing …fashion from the earth

102 scarf eco print detail 2

I thought sharing a post on eco-printing was a suitable post on Earth Day. A lot of the textile work I do focuses on natural and plant based processes rather than chemicals.

The scarf pictured above has been eco printed. This is a process where the silk has been dyed with the natural occurring pigments of leaves through a lengthy process of bundling the item tightly to achieve the best contact with the leaves. Results can vary depending on the time of year the leaf is picked, the length of time of the bundling, the type of fabric , and the mordants used.

The leaves on this scarf are peony and maple, picked from the garden. Results are always very random with a combination of leaf prints and abstract shapes and lines.

If you are interested in seeing more images of this scarf, and how it looks while being worn, there is a gallery on my other site , or click here for the link .

Eco-printing and slow cloth by Debra Hunter







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The Handmade in Canada Shop Has Been Updated!

I know my blogging has been a little quiet lately, and one of the reasons is I have been working away. In addition to a busy photography month, I have also been updating my other project, Handmade in Canada. Let’s just say when you dye your own yarn and knit your own items it takes time.

So after weeks and weeks of knitting, the shop has finally been updated. There are a ton of new items and we are pretty excited about sharing them with you. All our items are naturally dyed by hand and made by hand too. If you have a moment check it out.

shop image web


Also at the bottom of the Handmade in Canada site are our social media links. We can be found on Facebook and Instagram (@handmadeincanada), plus you can hit the follow button to follow the blog. I hope you will follow along and see all the cool items we are making.

leaf red 3x3 square 100dpi stylized