Nanaimo — Tony Harris, BC Liberal candidate in the upcoming provincial By-election, issued the following statement on new concerns raised about the speculation tax:

“A resident in Nanaimo recently raised a very concerning issue with me on the speculation tax.

She owns and lives in a home in Nanaimo, and rents a house at below-market rates to a non-profit organization that houses young people with disabilities. She’s worried she will need to pay the speculation tax because the legislation indicates that the only way she can receive an exemption is if she were to rent to an individual – – not a company or an organization.

When she called a neighbouring NDP MLA to get clarification, she never received an answer to her question. She then called the Ministry of Finance, and after being on hold for over an hour and being transferred three times, she was told they didn’t know the answer and she should email the general inbox.

The lack of transparency and clarity on this issue is appalling and Nanaimoites deserve better.

It’s unfair to the property owner to have to pay the spec tax just because the non-profit is not an “individual” and it’s unfair to these organizations that need these rental homes in order to assist the most vulnerable in the community.

The spec tax should be targeting individuals trying to cheat the system, not charitable members of the community who are trying to make Nanaimo better. I’m calling on the NDP government to look into this matter and tell British Columbians that they are not speculators until proven innocent.

Fighting against the botched speculation tax is another reason why I’m running in the upcoming by-election. But why I’m running is about so much more than any single issue, it’s about bold and aspirational ideas to help make our community an even better place to live, work and play. It’s why I’ve launched my plan at: for everyone to see.

January 30 is a chance to finally get Nanaimo the attention it deserves. It’s a tremendous opportunity to put Nanaimo back on the map where it belongs and ensure we start getting our fair share of attention and investment.

I’m asking for Nanaimo’s support. Hire me and I’ll work my tail off for you.”

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Media Contact:

Matt Gordon

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