Andrew Weaver statement on beneficial ownership registry white paper

June 20, 2018

VICTORIA, B.C. – Today Andrew Weaver responded to government’s release of proposed legislation to create a beneficial ownership registry.

“Government should match its data collection and transparency efforts with decisive action and immediately close the bare trust loophole,” said Weaver.

“I welcome the collection of more information on who truly owns property in B.C. For far too long, individuals and corporations with the means to navigate the holes in our legal system have been able to shield their identities from tax collection and law enforcement officials. However, it is critical that in addition to collecting more data, government acts decisively to actually crack down on people who use beneficial ownership structures in order to avoid paying taxes.

“Right now, speculators are able to use the bare trust loophole to avoid paying millions of dollars in taxes. This is a loophole so big you could drive a bus through it. Government can close it by simply applying the property transfer tax to the transfer of beneficial ownership. By doing so, government can truly crack down on speculation, tackle tax avoidance and free up huge sums of money that the province can spend on housing affordability.

“I will continue to push government on the urgent need to close the bare trust loophole.”

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