BC Greens push to ban foreign ownership of farmland

October 2, 2017 9:36 am

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As Fraser Valley farmland approaches $50,000 per acre, the leader of the BC Green Party is calling for the provincial government to ban foreigners from buying farmland in a bid to cool a red-hot real estate market.

Housing prices in Metro Vancouver dipped temporarily after the previous Liberal government implemented a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers last summer, but prices remain the highest in the country.

Green Leader Andrew Weaver said foreign buyers quickly started looking elsewhere for investment properties, including farmland, where the levy doesn’t apply.

Many non-residents are buying land zoned for agricultural use but instead of farming, they’re building large homes and selling the property for inflated prices, he said.

According to Farm Credit Canada (FCC), farmland values in B.C.’s Lower Mainland increased 17.7 per cent in 2016 from a year earlier – the highest increase in Canada. FCC reports that provincewide farmland values rose 8.2 per cent, year-over-year.

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