Ban farmland sales to foreigners in B.C.: Greens

Andrew Weaver says foreigners are buying up agricultural land for residential-only use

The leader of British Columbia’s Green party wants to see the government ban foreigners from buying farmland in a bid to cool the province’s real estate market.

Andrew Weaver says many non-residents are buying land zoned for agricultural use in Metro Vancouver, but instead of farming they’re building large homes and selling the property for inflated prices.

He says the result is a loss of food security and higher real estate prices in an already overheated market.

Several other provinces, including Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and Prince Edward Island, have measures in place regulating who can purchase farmland.

Weaver says the proposed prohibition would not apply to anyone who pays taxes in Canada, including Canadians living overseas and people in the country on work visas.

Last year the province’s previous Liberal government implemented a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers purchasing residential real estate in Metro Vancouver, but the levy does not apply to farmland.

The Canadian Press